News: Marines, aircraft, vehicles all in preparation of MAGTF demo
Story by Pfc. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – The Marine Air Ground Task Force demonstration, featuring a simulated offensive assault with explosives, fast roping from aircraft and infantry Marines with flak jackets and M16-A4 service rifles, is one of the most looked forward to events of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show.
With this event holding the reputation of the largest MAGTF demonstration, it takes an immense amount of preparation.
“The biggest piece to preparing is getting all the assets we need to Miramar for the demonstration,” said Maj. Phil Kendro, the MAGTF demo coordinator and a Reston, Va., native. “We need all the personnel, aircraft and vehicles.”
Even though the demo does not take place until October, the planning for it starts months beforehand.
“We start putting in the request for vehicles and aircraft in February to make sure we have them in time for the air show,” said Kendro.
Another element in preparing for this event is ensuring every Marine is ready and knows their role.
“When we start getting closer to the air show, we have briefs and meeting with all the major personnel participating in the demo,” said Kendro.
Representatives of each element, like air traffic control or infantry units, come to the meeting to pass information down to their section; if they do not attend these meetings they do not and are not allowed to participate in the event, explained Kendro.
Even though Kendro handles the overall coordination of the event, it takes numerous people to help in other aspects to prepare for the demo.
“There is so much that goes into preparing a show like this,” said Capt. Guzman, the Marine Aircraft Group 16 air show coordinator and a San Diego Native.
Guzman’s main role is getting aircraft for this demonstration. He also filters information to the squadrons participating and informs them of what aircraft they need to provide and what their role will be in the performance.
“I call squadrons and say ‘I need three CH-53Es’ and they tell me whether they can provide it or not,” said Guzman.
In addition to having aircraft and vehicles, Guzman works with other units on gathering Marines to work with the aircraft and vehicles.
“One example is MAG-13, because they are supplying us with AV-8Bs for the event and also maintainers and pilots for the aircraft,” said Guzman.
Even one week before the air show, the preparation does not cease.
“The Wednesday before the air show we have our run through of the plan and a tour of the flight line with all the Marines,” said Kendro. “Then that Thursday is our actual practice with the aircraft and vehicles.”
Although the MAGTF team is still preparing, they look forward to their adrenaline-pumping performance slated to appear in the air show in less than two weeks on Oct. 12 through 14.