Marine Corps Cpl. Matthew R. Lane, son of Johnna C. Keen of Cottonwood, and fellow Marines and sailors of Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 (MWSS-172), Marine Wing Support Group 17 (MWSG-17), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW), Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, recently returned from a seven-month deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.
MWSS-172 supplied support to the forward element of Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd MAW (Forward), to include tenant and visiting squadrons at Al Asad Air Base, Anbar province, Iraq, as well as provided combat service support throughout the province. MWSS-172 constructed more than 25 helicopter landing zones throughout Anbar province and built a refuel and replenishment point about 100 miles north of the Euphrates River, increasing the operation area of the 3rd MAW. Additionally, the squadron's motor transportation company carried 103, 062 tons of cargo more than 429, 733 miles between March 25 and Oct. 15, and the squadron's explosive ordnance disposal unit aided the newly-trained Iraqi EOD soldiers with controlled detonations as well as responded to local area requests for EOD support.
The sailors of MWSS-172 are primarily corpsmen, including augments from
Marine Aircraft Group 36, MWSG-17, Naval Hospital San Diego and Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms, Calif. They maintained the squadron's medical readiness and secured supplies for two cooperative medical engagements with the Iraqi medical system as well as provided medical treatment to Iraqi civilians in remote villages.
MWSS-172 was the first Marine wing support squadron from the III Marine Expeditionary Force to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first deployment of the squadron in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
For more information on MWSS-172, go to http://www.mnfwest.usmc.mil,
http://www.1maw.usmc.mil or http://www.okinawa.usmc.mil