News: MAG-12 back on Tinian for Forager Fury
Story by Lance Cpl. Joseph Karwick
TINIAN, Northern Mariana Islands - Marine Aircraft Group 12 returned to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island of Tinian for the second time this year, Nov. 28, for exercise Forager Fury 2012.
Due to the terrain and location of Tinian, the island has proven itself to be an ideal location for MAG-12 to conduct expeditionary training. With this fact in mind, the majority of Marines that can be found here are made up mostly of aircraft recovery and expeditionary airfield technicians.
The advance party of Marines arrived via flight from a KC-130J Hercules aircraft on Nov. 27. Their equipment, consisting of, fuel bladders, arresting gear, tents and various other items needed to maintain and expeditionary air field, arrived the following day, delivered by a Boeing 747-400 cargo aircraft. As soon as the aircraft arrived, the unloading process began.
“We started planning for [the exercise] in August, and even before that, we were looking for what we were going to do when we got down here,” said Maj. Matthew Halbert, the airfield operations company commander and Tinian officer in charge for Marine Wing Support Squadron-171, MAG-12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “The event tonight has been smooth, through the MAG, our logistical support, our squadron and our planning and all of the coordination of the MAG aircraft, it’s been absolutely smooth.”
The people of Tinian have expressed a warm welcome for the Marines and have thanked them for their return and look forward to seeing them again in the future.
“For a long time our people have wanted Marines on the island. We know that the Marines would bring about a great economic opportunity to the people of Tinian,” said Ramon Dela Cruz, the mayor of Tinian. “We welcome them and I hope in the future more will come. We encourage all of [the Marines] to come back as often as possible. Our people are pro-military, we will always welcome them and hope they continue to return.”
With the efforts of MAG-12 and the support of the people of Tinian, Forager Fury is now in full swing on Tinian, with expeditionary training exercises and community relations events ready to take center stage in the Marianas.