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Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31
MALS-31 Unit Logo
Marine Aircraft Group 31
MCAS Beaufort, SC


Lieutenant Colonel Stephen A. Ritchie
MALS-31 Commanding Officer

LtCol Ritchie is a native of Fort Worth, Texas, and was commissioned in March of 2005 upon his

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Major Brandon L. Kneemiller
MALS-31 Executive Officer

Major Kneemiller is a native of Pensacola, FL. He graduated from Officer Candidate School Platoon

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Sergeant Major Nicholas C. Elliott
MALS-31 Command Senior Enlisted Leader

Nicholas C. Elliott is a native of New Castle, Delaware. He enlisted into the Marine Corps in

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Provide aviation logistics support, guidance, planning and direction to Marine Aircraft Group squadrons on behalf of the commanding officer, as well as logistics support for Navy funded equipment in the supporting Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS), Marine Air Control Group (MACG), and Marine Aircraft Wing/Mobile Calibration Complex (MAW/MCC).


Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31
PSC Box 66121
Beaufort, SC 29904-6121

Comm: (843) 228-7060
DSN: 335-7060


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Mals-31 DRC

Derrick Wells
Office: (843) 228-6438
Cell: (843) 575-1720

MALS-31 Family Hotline:
Press 7 then 8


Headquarters Squadron 31, along with the activation of Marine Aircraft Group 31, was activated on 1 February 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, as an element of the 3rd Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. Six month later, Headquarters Squadron 31 as part of MAG-31, was enroute to Miramar, California, finally departing the United States from San Diego, California, embarked on board the USS NASSAU and USAT PUEBLA. On 10 November 1944, the 4th Marine Bases Defense Air Wing, FMF, was redesignated to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, FMF. On 11 March 1945, MAG-31, 4th MAW, FMF was redesignated MAG-31, 2d MAW, FMF. Headquarters Squadron 31 and other MAG-31 elements began moving from Roi-Namur Island, sailing for the most active front at that time-the Ryukyu's Campaign. Ground personnel of MAG-31 went ashore on Okinawa on 3 April to prepare to support MAG-31, which landed from the USS SITKOH BAY and began operations four days later. En route from the carrier to shore, two MAG-31 pilots shot down a Japanese bomber making a suicide run on their CVE, and gave MAG-31 the distinction of having the first land based aircraft to make a kill in the Okinawa campaign.

In the midst of the Korean War, MAG-31, 3d MAW, AirFMFLant, was reactivated on 17 March 1952, with its subordinate elements, at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, NC, but its location was shortly changed when it moved to Marine Corps Air Station, Miami, FL, on 3 April. During January 1954, Headquarters Squadron 31 returned to the Puerto Rice area for TRAEX II-54.

A major redesignation occurred on 15 February 1954, as the squadron became Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 (H&MS-31). Marine Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 31 was disbanded and its personnel transferred to Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31.

Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 was redesignated on 22 August 1958 to become part of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, AirFMFLant. The squadron along with the group was reduced to a paper organization it moved to Cherry Point with a small complement of personnel. On 31 January 1959, MAG-31 and its squadron were deactivated as Cherry Point.

Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 reactivated on 1 November 1961. The Squadron followed MAG-31 to Beaufort, SC, where Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 personnel provided logistical and administrative support for the group. The squadron provided proficiency training for attached pilots with C-117D and T-1A aircraft. Additionally, personnel from the Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron augmented deployed tactical squadrons. On 30 March 1964, in preparation for STEEL PIKE I, MAG-31 and supporting elements embarked aboard APA-228 and sailed from Charleston to Page Field, Parris Island, SC. On 6 October 1964, MAG-31 and supporting elements returned to Charleston, SC to embark upon USNS GEIGER (TAP-3) in route to Almeria, Spain for the execution of STEEL PIKE I. During the operation the group erected and operated a SATS airfield. Departing Almeria on 9 November, the USS GEIGER stopped at Valencia, Spain, before returning to Charleston, SC. In November 1968, the squadron received the Commanding General, FMFLant Aviation Safety Award for supporting 2029 mishap-free flight hours.

In October 1988, Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31’s mission changed with MAG-31’s acceptance of the F/A-18 Hornet Aircraft. Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31’s new mission was solely to provide logistical support to the tactical squadrons of MAG-31. All pilot proficiency training requirements became the mission of Fleet Replacement Squadrons. Therefore, the “Aggressors” of Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 were redesignated as the “Stingers” of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 (MALS-31). The Squadron transferred its A-4 Skyhawk aircraft and stood down as a flying squadron. MALS-31 fully completed the logistics support transition from F-4 Phantom IIs to the F/A-18 Hornet in 1990. Since then, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 has participated in numerous unit deployments, carrier detachments, as well as operations DESERT STORM, DENY FLIGHT and NOBLE ANVIL. The “Stingers” were awarded the Donald E. Davis Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron of the Year Award in both 1997 and 2002. The Squadron also received Meritorious Unit Commendations in 1997 and 2004. MALS-31 currently provides logistic support packages and personnel detachments to the tactical squadrons of MAG-31 in support of operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing