News: Eyth takes reins on MWSS-171, new CO in charge
Story by Pfc. Nicholas Rhoades
IWAKUNI, Japan - Lt. Col. Howard C. Eyth III, oncoming Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 commanding officer, assumed command from Lt. Col. Michael C. Taylor, former MWSS-171 commanding officer, during the MWSS-171 change-of-command ceremony here June 11.
Col. Christopher Mahoney, Marine Aircraft Group 12 commanding officer, spoke of the accomplishments Taylor and his Marines made during their recent deployment to Guam and Tinian.
“I watched him go and put together the largest expeditionary exercise that MAG-12 has undertaken since Chu Lai in 1965 in Vietnam,” said Mahoney. “I watched half of their strategic lifts get cut out from under them for reasons we had no control over, and yet still brought all the capabilities to the field that we needed to execute, not a small undertaking. I watched them echelon ashore on the small island of Tinian with no fuel, no electricity, no billeting, and no food. Within hours, food, electricity, billeting and KC-130s were coming in and pumping up fuel bladders to give them fuel and BAM!, a combat capability came to life within hours on a remote island in the Pacific, fifteen hundred miles away.”
Mahoney said his thanks to Taylor and the Taylor family, and then turned to Lt. Col. Eyth and spoke about the family he now is a part of.
“We have a great team here with everybody from station, to wing, to MEF. Welcome,” said Mahoney. “We tend to move out fairly quickly, we tend to throw objectives out in front of us, and we have a reputation now to crush them. Welcome aboard, I am looking forward to working with you.”
After Mahoney finished his comments with a motivating ‘Oorahh,’ Taylor took the floor and spoke about his time here as MWSS-171 commanding officer.
“I have to say the number of extreme highs has significantly outnumbered the lows, and it’s largely due to the quality of the individuals you are looking at before you and there are a lot of them,” said Taylor. “I average about 535 Marines throughout my three years, every single one of them a superb American and superb individual. But the quality of leadership I saw from the non-commissioned officers, staff NCOs and officers was some of the best I have seen in all of my time in the Marine Corps.”
Like the passing of the unit guidon moments before, as Taylor passed the microphone to Eyth, it again symbolized the passing of the squadron to a new commanding officer.
“It is both my honor and distinct privilege to be given the responsibility of taking command of this very fine organization,” said Eyth.“As far as I am concerned, this is the finest Marine wing support squadron in the Marine Corps. I do this knowing full well the reputation and legacy of leadership that Lt. Col. Michael Taylor leaves behind and I will endeavor every day that I am in command to fulfill that solemn promise which every incumbent commander holds in the forefront of his mind, which is to give his all so we may be ready for all things.”