AL ASAD, Iraq -- Marines and sailors from Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 and MWSS-272 took place in a transfer of authority ceremony at Al Asad, Iraq, Aug. 29 at the headquarters for the Wing support squadrons.
The ceremony was a formality, as the Untouchables of MWSS-272 had already assumed responsibility for some operations from ‘271’s Workhorses.
“Everybody’s excited to be here and we’re ready to roll,” said Maj. Aaron W. Adams, executive officer of MWSS-272.
“We’ve been ready to go for quite some time,” he added. “We’ve done a lot of training, culminating with Exercise Desert Talon (in Yuma, Ariz.) in June.”
Sgt. Maj. Clarence W. Richardson, MWSS-272 squadron sergeant major, echoed that sentiment.
“We want to continue to build on the great reputation the Workhorses have made,” he said. “The Untouchables are going to complete this mission leaning on their experience and training.”
As a wing support squadron, MWSS-272 has one of the most diverse mission objectives of any unit aboard Al Asad.
“We provide aviation ground support for Al Asad and some of the outlying forward operating bases,” said Adams. “That includes aircraft refueling, engineering, motor transport, explosive ordnance disposal, food service and communications.”
The Untouchables also conduct convoy operations, a mission they trained extensively for during Exercise Desert Talon.
While complicated and difficult, the mission of MWSS-272 was aided by having solid groundwork laid by MWSS-271, who completed their deployment safely and efficiently.
“The (commanding officer) has a saying, ‘we get it done’,” said Sgt. Maj. Susan M. Bellis, sergeant major of MWSS-271 and a Boston native. “Well, we got it done, and we did it safely. That really sums up our squadron.”
“We’ve been busy within Al Asad and with missions outside the wire,” she added. “The key is keeping the Marines focused, treating every day as if it were day one.”
Focus will certainly be one of the keys to MWSS-272’s success in Iraq, but Adams knows his squadron has the experience and preparation to meet its goals.
“We’ve got some pretty tough shoes to fill,” he said. “But, we’ve done extensive pre-deployment training and our Marines and sailors are ready get the job done here.”