Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. --
Fighter Attack Squadron 122 returned to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Nov.
19 after participating in Integrated Training Exercise from Oct. 16- Nov. 19.
The exercise was held aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine
The training event used all
components of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to accomplish the mission.
“This was the last big training
exercise we did before our next deployment,” said Sgt. Maj. Richard Ayala, the
sergeant major of VMFA-122.
The Marines of VMFA-122 conducted
close air support exercises, armed reconnaissance, dropped live ordnance, and
executed expeditionary operations training to increase proficiency and combat
“The exercise started out with a
very generic scenario,” said Capt. Benjamin Switzer, the operations officer for
VMFA-122 and F/A-18 pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force. “There was a known
target area, and all fire, land and air, was directed towards the enemy. Each
scenario advanced from there.”
The intent of the exercise was for
Marines to be prepared to support planning and flight operations from the supplementary
expeditionary landing field aboard the combat center.
“The overall goal of the exercise
was to provide realistic training for each individual component, but at the
same time integrate all elements together,” said Switzer. “Ground elements such
as tanks, infantry, scout snipers, artillery, and air elements such as F-18s
and a combat search and rescue element from the Air Force were just a few
moving pieces incorporated into the exercise.”
pre-deployment training was conducted to increase combat proficiency and
readiness, according to Maj. Matthew Halbert, the executive officer of
“The squadron will be deploying as
part of the Western Pacific Unit Deployment Program based out of MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
in early 2016,” said Halbert.
The upcoming deployment for VMFA-122
will support Marine Aircraft Group 12, and increase combat power and
interoperability with our Asia-Pacific partners.
“The Marines did phenomenal work,
and worked long hours,” said Halbert. “The squadron increased its proficiency
in flight operations and maintenance, and the Marines provided stellar support
to the ITX which resulted in a successful exercise and quality training for all