MAG-40 Camp in Afghanistan

This slide show shows the alteration of an operating base for the USMC air support elements for operations in Afghanistan; it underscores how the USMC builds an expeditionary airfield designed be put close to the battle and why the USMC is considered an expeditionary force.

Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 “Diamondbacks”, Marine Aircraft Group 40 (MAG-40), Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, have made significant changes to the airfield off of which they operate in Afghanistan. Since the Diamondbacks arrived in Afghanistan in late September, they have been responsible for the significant changes of the runway for Marine Aircraft Group 40’s assets.

In just over four months, they have built a parking ramp for KC-130 “Hercules” aircraft, repaired the runway, built a parking ramp for rotary and tiltrotor aircraft, installed a Tactical Airfield Fueling Dispersing System and connected all the ramps to the runway by building taxiways for the various aircraft.

The improvements to the C-130 parking ramp consisted of laying approximately 145,000 square feet of aluminum matting, increasing the amount of incoming troops and supplies that can be brought in.

The slide show shows various aspects of the capabilities shaped by the changes in the airfield.

Credit: Marine Aircraft Group 40, January 2010

  • The first photo shows Marines with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, conducting on and off drills on CH-53D “Super Stallion” helicopters from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 40, MEB-Afghanistan, January 23rd, 2010. The north parking ramp, recently constructed by Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, MAG-40, MEB-Afghanistan, allows increased flexibility for units within MEB-Afghanistan to conduct drills like this involving Marines from the ground combat element and aviation combat element to work together and build rapport with one another.
  • The second photo shows Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Aircraft Group 40, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, fueling a KC-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft with the Tactical Airfield Fueling Dispersing System for the first time, Jan. 23.
  • The third photo shows Marines with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, conducting on and off drills on a pair of CH-53D “Super Stallion” helicopters from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 40, MEB-Afghanistan.
  • The fourth photo shows Pfc. Christopher Rainboat, a heavy equipment operator for Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Aircraft Group 40, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, preparint the tape sweep area with a 130 Grader.
  • The fifth photo shows Lance Cpls. Bryce Allen, a combat engineer for Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Aircraft Group 40, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, working with a fellow combat engineer, Lance Cpl. Travis Vliet, and dropping a bag of concrete while expanding the C-130 runway.
  • The sixth photo shows Lance Cpl. Travis Vliet, a combat engineer with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Aircraft Group 40, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, covering and aligning a bag of concrete for the expansion of the C-130 runway.
  • The final photo shows, for the first time on the upgraded base, not one KC-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft, but two refueling at the Tactical Airfield Fueling Dispersing System recently established at Camp Dwyer by the Marines of Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Aircraft Group 40, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan.

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***Posted March 8th, 2010

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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