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Marine Aircraft Group 16 is a United States Marine Corps aviation unit based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar that is currently composed of five V-22 Osprey squadrons, four CH-53 Super Stallion squadrons, one Personnel Support Detachment, an aviation logistics squadron, and a wing support squadron. The group falls under the command of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and the I Marine Expeditionary Force.

Marine Aircraft Group 16
MAG-16 insignia.jpg
MAG-16's insignia
Active1 March 1952 – present
CountryUnited States
TypeHelicopter group
RoleAssault support
Part of3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
I Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQMarine Corps Air Station Miramar
EngagementsVietnam War
* Operation Starlite
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
* 2003 Invasion of Iraq
* Operation Vigilant Resolve
* Operation Phantom Fury
Col Eric “Flounder” Garcia


Provide air support to Marine Air-Ground Task Force commanders.

Subordinate unitsEdit

CH-53E Super Stallion Squadrons

MV-22 Osprey Squadrons

Maintenance Squadron

Support Squadron


Marine Helicopter Transport Group 16 (MAG(HR)-16) was formed 1 March 1952 at Marine Corps Air Facility(MCAF) Santa Ana, California and was the first helicopter group established in the Marine Corps. Prior to its activation helicopter squadrons were considered special units and reported directly to the Air Wing commanding general with no intermediate command.[1] Colonel Harold J. Mitchener was MAG-16's first commanding officer. Seven units made up the newly formed MAG: Headquarters Squadron(HQSQ) 16, Marine Airbase Squadron(MABS) 16, Marine Aircraft Maintenance Squadron(MAMS) 16, Marine Helicopter Transport Squadrons(HMR) 162, 163, 362, and 363.

Vietnam WarEdit

On the evening of 12–13 August helicopters from MAG-16 participated in the first night helicopter assault of the Vietnam War. They debarked 245 Marines and returned to Da Nang without incident.[2]

1980s & 1990sEdit

Through the years, many other helicopter squadrons have made MAG-16 their home. Units of MAG-16 have participated in Operation Desert Punch, Operation Seahorse Wind, Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and many other missions, including Operation Iraqi Freedom.

MAG-16 has provided support in Somalia to include rescue operations in many other locations. MAG-16 deploys its units aboard the fleet of the United States Navy to maintain a high state of awareness overseas and abroad. MAG-16 and its units have provided aircraft support and transportation for visiting U.S. dignitaries and celebrities from the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, Commandant of the Marine Corps and movie legend Audrey Hepburn. MAG-16 also provides aircraft and personnel for the MCAS Miramar Air Show.

Global War on TerrorEdit

From 11 September 2001 through to the present, elements of MAG-16 have actively participated in the Global War on Terror, beginning with HMM-163(REIN)'s role in establish FOB Rhino in Afghanistan as part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which consisted of a core CH-46E HMM squadron, a CH-53E detachment from HMH-465, both part of MAG-16, as well as HMLA and VMA detachments. All flying squadrons of MAG-16 have participated in the GWOT in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, but were almost always under the command of other headquarters elements. MAG-16's headquarters element was specifically deployed in support of the GWOT from January 2008 through January 2009, where they provided the primary command of Marine aviation support in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province. By the end of this deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom the MAG had achieved a milestone 80,000 flight hours in support of Multi-National Forces West and adjacent commands.[3]

Expeditionary transformationEdit

MAG-16 continues to reshape its identity for the current expeditionary environment of the Marine Corps. The CH-46E Sea Knight is currently being replaced with the MV-22B Osprey to augment its heavy lift assault support assets. The MV-22B adds a long-range capability to the MAGTF that will extend its reach well beyond current assault support assets. MAG-16 will continue to refine its identity to "respond to today's crisis with today's force."[4]

Notable former membersEdit

Raymond M. Clausen, Jr.- Medal of Honor recipient
Eugene R. Brady- MAG-16 commander, Navy Cross recipient
Kenneth L. Reusser- Former MAG-16 commander and highly decorated three-war Marine Corps aviator, double Navy Cross and double Distinguished Flying Cross recipient.

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.


  1. ^ Rawlins (1976), p.52.
  2. ^ Lehrack The First Battle, p. 30.
  3. ^ LCpl Dulaney, Brandon (30 January 2009). "MAG 26 assumes authority at al Asad". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  4. ^ Representatives, House of (1 March 2011). "Statement of General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Before the House Armed Services Committee on the 2011 Posture of the U.S. Marine Corps". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 28 May 2011.


  • Lehrack, Otto (2004). The First Battle – Operation Starlite and the Beginning of the Blood Debt in Vietnam. Havertown, Pennsylvania: Casemate. ISBN 1-932033-27-0.
  • Rawlins, Eugene W. (1976). Marines and Helicopters 1946–1962. Washington, D.C.: History and Museums Division, Headquarters Marine Corps.

External linksEdit