U.S. ARMY CSIB, 2ND MARINE AIRCRAFT WING

Dubbed "Devilbirds" by Marine historian John A. Dechant, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) has stayed unswervingly committed to its motto of "Second to None" for three-quarters of a century. The unit was commissioned just five months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, home of the wing’s newly created component Marine Air Group Two.  Rebuilding from the considerable losses and damage suffered during, the 2nd MAW went on to participate in many of battles that took place during the U.S. island-hopping campaigns, from Wake Island and Midway to Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, and more. One of the most notable of the unit’s 83 combat operations took place from April to June over the skies of Okinawa, where the wing was responsible for downing over 480 planes. After the conclusion of the war, the 23nd MAW moved from the west coast to its current base, at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina.

Throughout the war in Vietnam, the 2nd MAW was the source of combat-ready personnel and units for deployment to the Asian Theater. In the decade leading up to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the unit conducted extensive training exercises and took part in combat operations at various points across the globe, including Lebanon, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. The 2nd MAW took part in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and later in the 1990s it supported NATO air strikes in Serbia and Kosovo. As part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the unit expended nearly 4 million pounds of ordnance and transported more than 10,000 troops during its 7800-plus sorties. It served as aviation combat element of Multi-National Forces West until the fall of 2009, when it turned over the mission to Marine Aircraft Group 26 and returned stateside.

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