Unit Details

3rd MAW (3rd Marine Aircraft Wing)

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
3MAW embossed.png  
3rd MAW Insignia
  • November 10, 1942 December 31, 1945
  • February 1, 1952 present
Country United States
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Marine Aircraft Wing
Role Conduct air operations in support of the Fleet Marine Forces
Part of I Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
Nickname(s) 3rd MAW
Motto(s) "Bella Ac Pace Paratus"
"Prepared in Peace and War"
Engagements World War II
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
*2003 invasion of Iraq
*Operation Vigilant Resolve
*Operation Phantom Fury
Commanding General Maj.Gen. Mark R. Wise
Sergeant Major Sgt.Maj. James K. Porterfield
Command Master Chief CMDCM(FMF) Gary Mendus
Gen. James F. Amos

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW) is the major west coast aviation unit of the United States Marine Corps. It is headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California and provides the aviation combat element for I Marine Expeditionary Force. The wing is made up of a headquarters squadron, four flying groups, an aviation command and control group and an aviation engineering group.


Provide combat ready expeditionary aviation forces capable of short notice worldwide deployment to Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), fleet and unified commanders.

Current force


Units of 3rd MAW are located in the western United States at the following bases:

Subordinate units

Structure 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing


World War II

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing was commissioned on November 10, 1942, at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, with a personnel roster of 13 officers, 25 enlisted men and one aircraft - a trainer.

The Wing's combat history began with the World War II deployment of a bomber squadron on December 3, 1943. A little more than a year later, the Wing deployed a night fighter squadron in support of the war effort.

In early April 1944, the wing turned over its training duties and assigned units to the 9th Marine Aircraft Wing and on April 21, 1944, boarded three carriers for a voyage to Hawaii and arrived May 8, where it assumed the functions of Marine Air, Hawaii Area (MAHA)

When the Japanese surrendered, 3rd MAW was decommissioned on December 31, 1945, at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa and its personnel were assigned to other units. The Wing also played an important, but behind-the-scenes, role during the war by training Marine pilots and support personnel for combat duty overseas.


In 1952, as the Marine Corps again fought in the Far East, the Wing was reactivated at MCAS Cherry Point for the Korean War. The main portion of the wing began moving to the new Marine Corps Air Station Miami, the Marine Corps' first "flying field."

In September 1955, the Wing left MCAS Miami for Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California. 3rd MAW was rebuilt again, with the addition of Marine Aircraft Group 15, followed by Marine Aircraft Group 36 on September 5, 1955, with its helicopter squadrons at the nearby Marine Corps Air Facility Santa Ana, later renamed Marine Corps Air Station Tustin.