AL ASAD, Iraq -- The recently deployed Marines and Sailors of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) had a chance to talk to their commanding general during his visit to Iraq.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, 2nd MAW commanding general, ate dinner with Marines from Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, March 25, and talked to them about their year-long deployment.
The dinner was Glueck’s last stop during his trip to Iraq. Glueck, along with Sgt. Maj. George Mason, 2nd MAW sergeant major, visited Iraq from March 21 to 25. During his stay here, Glueck also visited 2nd MAW (Fwd) units at forward operating bases in Fallujah and Al Taqaddum.
“The purpose of our visit was for Sergeant Major and I to come out here and visit the Marines of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, to assess where we’ve come since we did the actual transfer of authority with (3rd Marine Aircraft Wing), and to make sure that our Marines out here have everything they need to accomplish the mission,” said Glueck.
In addition to MWHS-2, Glueck and Mason ate meals with junior Marines from various units during their visit to Iraq.
“They’re the heartbeat,” Glueck said of junior Marines. “They are the guys who make it happen. It’s a great opportunity to sit down with some tremendous NCO’s and non-NCOs; to be able to spend some time with them, and to see how they are doing, see if they’re getting everything they need. And to be able to tell them what a great job they are doing, and let them know that they are making a huge difference every day.”
During dinner, Glueck talked with the Marines and asked them how their deployment was going, according to Lance Cpl. Sheli Secker, the maintenance management clerk for MWHS-2.
“You don’t expect a General to be ‘Hey how’s it going?’ and sit down next to you and eat,” said Secker, a San Jose, Calif., native. “I thought that was really neat. He has a lot of stuff to do and I just think that it was really nice of him to come out and see how we are doing. It was nice that he came out and asked our opinion of things.”
After dinner, Glueck and Mason talked to the Marines and answered questions on everything from re-enlistments to the new flame-resistant operational gear. Glueck also warned Marines not to become complacent, reminding them that every Marine is a rifleman.
Glueck said he is confident the Marines and Sailors of 2nd MAW (Fwd) will accomplish the mission of the aviation combat element in Iraq.
“Third Marine Aircraft Wing set a high standard,” said Glueck. “I think our Marines have come in and begun to try and push that bar even higher in terms of operational excellence and execution. I’m very proud of their performance. Sergeant Major and I are both extremely proud of the Marines and what they are doing out here. We truly believe that we have put the first-string team out here.”