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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif .– (October 1, 2021) Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166, Marine Aircraft Wing 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, meets one last time at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, as the colors have been cased during a deactivation ceremony on October 1, 2021.

The VMM-166 made its last flight on June 30, 2021. After 36 years of deployment in support of numerous US military operations ranging from Desert Storm to Inherent Resolve, the VMM-166 “SeaElk” will be deactivated as personnel and equipment will be re-organized at various Marine squadrons across the continental United States.

“As part of Force Design 2030, the Marine Corps is deactivating several units for divestment to invest in other platforms,” ​​said Lt. Col. James Clifford Ford III, commanding officer of VMM-166 . “We are not fighting in the Middle East, we are preparing for adversaries close to our peers with some of the same technology as us.”

Force Design 2030 is a plan that further prepares the Marine Corps to continue to be the nation’s preparatory naval expeditionary force, while simultaneously modernizing assets in accordance with the national defense strategy. Reducing the number of Marine Corps squadrons that maintain and fly the MV-22B Osprey allows the Marine Corps to consolidate its resources while paving the way for emerging aviation technologies. Force Design 2030 ensures that the Marine Corps adapts to new tactics and technologies while maintaining its identity as the world’s premier expeditionary force.

The Marines and machines of VMM-166 are distributed throughout the Marine Corps, while many will remain in Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

The VMM-166 was activated on September 13, 1985. Since then, the VMM-166 has contributed to countless sea and land operations, winning several honors and awards, including the Iraqi Field Streamer with two Bronze Stars, the Streamer World War on Terrorism and National Defense Expeditionary. Streamer service with a bronze star.

“It was the most difficult and rewarding experience I have ever had,” said Lt. Col. Ford III, of his time with SeaElk, “It was exceptional to see how the Marines can work hard and passionately. “

The 3rd MAW continues to “fix, fly and fight” as the largest aircraft wing in the Marine Corps, and remains combat ready, deployable at short notice, and deadly when called into action.

For any questions regarding this release, please contact the 3rd MAW Communication Strategy and Operations Office at [email protected]

Date taken: 10.01.2021
Date posted: 01/10/2021 7:40 PM
Story ID: 406572
Site: MIRAMAR, California, United States

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