News: MAG-12 hosts first WESTPAC MDTC
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan — Marine Aircraft Group 12 continues its job as the command element for the Marine Division Tactics Course here June 13.
Col. Christopher J. Mahoney, MAG-12 commanding officer, shared his vision for MAG-12 with the Marines of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 and Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533, who are supporting the MDTC students during the course.
“My vision is this: tactical excellence,” Mahoney said. “Whether it be fighting in the air, maintaining the aircraft or support through logistics. Tactical excellence is what makes the Marine Corps America’s 911 force in readiness.”
Tactical excellence is what MDTC promotes and instills in its students.
MDTC is a graduate-level course for pilots to improve their efficiency in the air-to-air arena.
This course is the first MDTC to be conducted outside the continental U.S.
“What we are trying to do with this course is bring the western pacific region training to a level it hasn’t been before,” said Mahoney. “We’re Marines. If we can’t make something of ours expeditionary, it will hold lesser value.”
MAG-12 is the host and sponsor of this MDTC. As host, it is MAG-12’s responsibility to organize and pay for all the support that went into getting the MDTC students trained. The cost of the whole course is approximately $1.7 million.
“When you bounce that dollar value against the training that is happening, I think it is money well spent,” Mahoney said. “The Marine Corps will look back and say, this was a good investment. We got off cheap.”
MAG-12 is now sharing the responsibility with the other MAGs in the U.S. to ensure the aircrews get trained.
This MDTC is a great way for MAG-12 to test its capabilities, said Capt. Daniel Flatley, the MAG-12 MDTC action officer.
It took the help of many different MAG-12 elements to support this massive undertaking.
Flatley worked to ensure the MAG-12 elements meshed perfectly with the other units and squadrons participating in the course.
Flatley ensured the Air Force’s 18th Wing would be able to fly as enemy aircraft during the course, the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One instructors and students would be taken care of while in WESTPAC, and the squadrons would lend the support of approximately 500 Marines, sailors and airmen to keep the course running smoothly.
“This product that Flatley has worked so hard to give us has been in the works since late summer of last year,” Mahoney said. “2010 is when this course started to take shape, and that shows the amount of forethought put into this kind of training.”
The Marines who support MAG-12, the course and the students work around the clock to ensure the mission runs smoothly.
“That shows me how dedicated these Marines are to their job,” said Lt. Col. P.J. Kerr, MAG- 12 operations officer. “Their job is to keep this green machine running like clockwork.”
The plans for this MDTC have formed from a rough draft in the summer of 2010, to a working outline by the new year and has become the operation that approximately 500 Marines and sailors are supporting to keep the Marine Corps’ F/A-18 aircrews trained and ready for anything.
“I’m happy to put my name on this event and to put the MAG-12 patch up there with all the other squadrons who participated in this course,” Mahoney said.
MAG-12 will continue to be the head of MDTC and the front line of historic training.