Marine Wing Support Squadron 271

Marine Wing Support Squadron 271
Marine Wing Support Squadron 271
MWSS-271's insignia
courtesy of
Active 4 June 1986 – present
Country United States
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Aviation ground support squadron
Part of Marine Wing Support Group 27
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
Nickname "Workhorse of the Wing"
Engagements Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 (MWSS 271) is an aviation ground support unit of the United States Marine Corps. They are based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. The squadron falls under the command of Marine Wing Support Group 27 and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.



MWSS 271 provide all essential aviation ground support requirements to a designated fixed-wing component of an Aviation Combat Element (ACE) and all supporting or attached elements of the Marine Air Control Group.


Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 was activated on 4 June 1986, organized from the assets of Wing Transportation Squadron 27, Wing Engineer Squadron 27, and Marine Air Base Squadron 14.

The Gulf War

Since its inception, the "Workhorses" of MWSS-271 have supported both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing on a daily basis and have participated in many major USMC and joint service exercises and operations. MWSS-271 deployed to Saudi Arabia, in January 1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The Squadron provided Aviation Ground Support to multiple Marine Air Groups by constructing and operating Forward Arming and Refueling Points at Al Kabrit, Qahar, Khanjar, and Tanijib, Saudi Arabia. On 24 February 1991, MWSS 271 displaced its elements in support of offensive ground combat operations into Kuwait in the midst of heavy combat to establish a Forward Operating Base at Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base and, eventually, Kuwait International Airport, becoming the only MWSS to take part in offensive combat operations in Kuwait during Desert Storm.

The last elements of the Squadron returned to the United States on 15 June 1991 and rapidly resumed peace-time operations to provide Aviation Ground Support (AGS) for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Cherry Point and at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue (MCALF Bogue), North Carolina.

The 1990s

MWSS-271 operations at MCALF Bogue have supported continuous expeditionary training and flight operations for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and U.S. Special Forces units by providing a unique nucleus of uninterrupted services, such as air base operations, crash fire rescue, aircraft recovery, security, weather, communications, tactical aircraft refueling, motor transport, engineers, and food services. It is one of two continuously operational Expeditionary Airfields within the United States and the only one on the east coast.

The Global War on Terror

In February 2003, MWSS-271 returned to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Deploying to Kuwait, the squadron quickly established Camp Workhorse, which was eventually used as staging area for all 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing ground units before they crossed over into Iraq during OIF. By the end of combat operations, MWSS-271 had provided vital AGS in direct support of ground combat operations from Kuwait to the gates of Baghdad and beyond. While supporting the combat operations deep into Iraq, MWSS-271 provided five FARPs, three on the way to Baghdad and two further north, which finally ended in Tikrit, the home of Saddam Hussein. Also during this period, the MWSS-271 established two Forward Operating Bases to support operations: one a KC-130 TLZ that supported both aviation and division operations, and the other a fully functional and operational FOB that could support every aircraft in the Marine Corps inventory.

The Workhorses again deployed in support of OIF in the beginning of 2005. By providing aviation ground support and combat service support at Al Asad, Al Qaim, and Kalsu from January 2005 through September 2005, the Squadron enhanced operational capabilities for Marine, Joint, and Coalition air and ground forces within the Al Anbar area of operations. Throughout the deployment, the Squadron performed Aviation Ground Support and non-doctrinal combat service support missions while providing vital base security and convoy support. The Workhorses supported combat operations in conjunction with Regimental Combat Team 2, and provided necessary explosive ordnance disposal response to neutralize improvised explosive devices and weapons caches.


Haiti 1997

Haiti 1997

See also

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