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2nd Marine Aircraft Wing History

2nd MAW at MCAS Cherry Point circa 1940's

The Marines and Sailors of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing may call Eastern Carolina home, but their powerful presence can be felt almost anywhere on the globe. From dawn to dawn, hemisphere to hemisphere, forward deployments allow the sun to always shine on the 2nd MAW. Continuing a legacy that began with 2nd MAWs commissioning in July 1941, commitment and camaraderie are always evident across the wing, especially in times of crisis.

Commissioned in July 1941, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing was originally headquartered in San Diego. It consisted of six squadrons, two in San Diego and four in Hawaii. The Hawaii-based squadrons sustained extensive damage during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, but 2nd MAW went on to contribute to 83 South Pacific operations during WWII. Marines and aircraft from 2nd MAW participated in major battles and campaigns at Wake Island, Okinawa, Midway, Saipan, Guadalcanal, Tinian and Guam.

2nd MAW relocated to its present home at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., in April 1946. During the Vietnam War, 2nd MAW supplied combat-ready units and personnel to operations in the Asian Theater. In the 1980s, 2nd MAW units were active in exercises and operations around the globe, to include those in Lebanon, Cuba, Grenada, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

In the 1990s, 2nd MAW continued its global participation during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Later in the decade, 2nd MAW squadrons supported NATO air strikes in Kosovo and Serbia during Operation Allied Force and provided support during Operation Northern Watch from Incirlik, Turkey.

2nd MAW has remained active in the last 15 years with deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch and Unit Deployment Program rotations to Japan. 2nd MAW squadrons have been involved in combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout the Global War on Terrorism and continue to deploy in support of the 22nd, 24th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units.

2nd MAW has held a significant role in the Eastern Carolinas for more than 70 years. 2nd MAW has 42 squadrons and more than 15,000 Marines and Sailors based at Cherry Point, MCAS New River, N.C. and MCAS Beaufort, S.C.

The mission of 2nd MAW is to conduct air operations in support of the Fleet Marine Force to include offensive air support, anti-air warfare, assault support, aerial reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and control of aircraft and missiles. As a collateral function, the MAW may participate as an integral component of naval aviation in the execution of such other Navy functions as the Fleet Commander may direct.


2nd Marine Aircraft Wing