CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan -- It was a cool and bright sunny morning as Marines and sailors with Marine Wing Support Squadrons 372 and 274 gathered for a transfer of authority ceremony aboard Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 7.
During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Sean C. Killeen, commanding officer, MWSS-274 assumed command from Lt. Col. Maura M. Hennigan, commanding officer, MWSS-372, as the aviation ground support unit for Regional Command (Southwest).
Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 arrived in Afghanistan from their home station, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif., during October 2013 for their last deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
While deployed, MWSS-372 was responsible for supporting the Marine aviation units aboard Camp Bastion and four forward operating bases across Nimroz and Helmand provinces. Their mission was to provide aviation ground support to all aviation combat element units within RC(SW).
The support they provided was divided between base support and airfield support. Their functions ranged from security, food and medical services to explosive ordnance disposal, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and aviation and ground refueling.
During their tour in country, MWSS-372 was recognized as the Marine Wing Support Squadron of the Year 2013 for establishing themselves as a paragon of excellence and setting the standard in aviation ground support during OEF.
“I am amazingly proud of the Marines,” said Hennigan. “They met every challenge. Our goal was to come out and be the logistics unit that no matter what the request was, we were able to support it in some way. They did everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. They came out and easily succeeded in everything they saw. They did amazing work. I’m very proud of them.”
Hennigan bid farewell on behalf of the Marines and sailors serving with MWSS-372 and gave a motivated welcome to Killeen and his command.
This is the second time MWSS-274 has deployed to Afghanistan from their home station, MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., and they are the last MWSS unit to deploy to in support of OEF.
According to Capt. Rex L. Brooks, executive and operations officer, MWSS-274, the squadron provides many services to ensure that the ACE can complete its mission of the standard functions of aviation.
Killeen uncased the unit’s battle colors, then addressed the Marines and sailors in attendance of the ceremony.
“I’m excited to take over command,” said Killeen. “The Marine Corps is closing out a chapter in Afghanistan, and to be a part of history like that is just an honor. The Marines have trained hard over the last 12 months and are well prepared for the task.”