News: 4th MAW recruits for 'Way Ahead'
Story by Pfc. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – The 4th Marine Aircraft Wing is looking for a few good men and women at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show aboard MCAS Miramar, Calif., Oct. 12 through the 14, as it recruits to support its "Way Ahead."
The slogan focuses on the fact that the reserve unit will move one of its Marine medium tiltrotor squadrons with the MV-22 Osprey to MCAS Miramar. With this move in the near future, 4th MAW used the air show to recruit pilots and air wing Marines for the squadron.
“VMM-764 is moving to Miramar in January. Our main goal for this year’s air show is to get Marines for it," said Lt. Col. Mike Pagano, the 4th MAW Liaison officer and a Niagara Falls, N.Y., native.
This year, 4th MAW wanted to make a greater impact with its display and recruiting efforts at the air show.
“Last year was our first year and so many people were interested with the display. This year with the display, we wanted to try to recruit as many people as we can,” said Pagano.
The 4th MAW mission is to support the fleet Marine forces with anti-air warfare, offensive air support, assault support, electronic warfare and aerial reconnaissance.
“We have aircraft and vehicles with 4th MAW out here that we use to support our active duty squadrons,” said Capt. Jeff Stratton, a pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 764 and Orlando, Fla., native. "4th MAW supports training like Mojave Viper in [Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center] 29 Palms."
Although 4th MAW is a reserve wing, it functions as an active duty air wing with its training and flights.
“We fly everyday just like any other squadron and train just like they do in case they need our support,” said Stratton.
As a reserve Marine aviation unit, it provides many educational and job opportunities for air wing Marines who join.
“I was active duty but i wanted to get further in school so i join the reserves,” said Sgt. Nicholas Debenbdetto, an air support operations operator with Marine Air Support Squadron 6 and San Diego native. "I have time to go to school and still be a Marine.
For Marines who chose to leave their active-duty status behind, 4th MAW can help them in so many ways.
“With 4th MAW, I have experienced so much that will help me further in my career that I probably wouldn't get to do if I had stayed active duty,” said Debenbdetto.
Marines with 4th MAW are showing the more than nine thousand Marines of Miramar ways to stay faithful to the corps even if they can not be active duty.