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VMFA-312 soars to Western Pacific

10 Jul 2015 | Lance Cpl. Samantha K. Torres 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 deployed to the Western Pacific July 8 as part of the Unit Deployment Program.

Families and friends stood outside the squadron’s hangar as they waved goodbye to their loved ones.

During their deployment , they will participate in bilateral exchanges, exercises, and theater security and cooperation events.

"They’ll be working and sweating just like they do in South Carolina," said Sergeant Maj. Adrian Tagliere, the sergeant major of VMFA-312. "Leading up to this, we’ve had many hurdles to overcome, but the Marines impressed me every day."

Since 1977, the UDP has been active, and in 1979 they became the first squadron with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing to deploy to the Western Pacific.

It will be a first deployment for most Marines, because the squadron has had more than a 50 percent change in personnel, including its leadership.

"The Marines are excited to go," said Tagliere.

The Checkerboards began operating out of South Carolina in 1943, and will now take their aircraft to the skies of the Western Pacific.