Marine Corps Base Hawaii --
More than 80 Marines conducted an activation ceremony in Hangar 101 to celebrate the addition of Marine Wing Support Detachment 24 to the base, April 24, 2013.
The commanding officer of MWSD-24, Capt. Victor Kamantauskas, called attention to the unit and called for the guidon. In a moment of silence, Kamantauskas unfurled the guidon to reveal the golden Eagle, Globe and Anchor with “MWSD-24” written below it.
Located in the back of building 373, MWSD-24’s primary mission is to establish and operate a Forward Armed and Refueling Point while supporting aircraft maintenance.
“We’re the ground support guys for the wing and provide them with heavy equipment,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Adam Miller, the operations/fuels officer with MWSD-24. “We fuel aircraft and load/unload aircraft and equipment. We’re definitely an important unit to have.”
MWSD-24 plays a major support role alongside Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 to keep Marine Aircraft Group 24 fully operational. The unit’s job is to lift and transport heavy machinery for HMLA-367.
“Whenever HMLA-367 goes to do an exercise, we go with them,” Miller said. “They rely on us to do what we do, so they can do what they need to do.”
MWSD-24 arrived in Hawaii Jan. 31, 2012, with merely 10 Marines and a written plan of action offering little guidance toward building a foundation.
“It has been a challenge to get where we are today,” Kamantauskas said. “The Marines have been very adaptive at their jobs, and we wouldn’t be here without them.”
With the symbol of a gryphon on its crest, MWSD-24’s motto “Strive for the Summit” represents its goal to support HMLA-367 and MAG-24 in upholding their missions.
“We’ve been under the radar for a while,” Miller said. “We were supposed to become fully operational March 31, but we’ve been so busy (accomplishing our missions that we postponed the ceremony).”
After arriving in Kaneohe Bay, MWSD-24 got straight to business and has completed nine pre-activation exercises alongside HMLA-367 and MAG-24.
“We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” Miller said. “We’re just now getting our name out in the open, and we’re letting everyone know we can do our job.”