August 26, 2014, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point – The commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing hosted a commander’s forum at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Aug. 21.
Commanders and sergeants major from across 2nd MAW joined Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund, commanding general, to discuss a variety of topics to help improve unit readiness and plan for future Marine Air-Ground Task Force support.
Hedelund and subordinate leaders discussed shrinking manpower levels and how 2nd MAW must shift focus from ground combat support in Afghanistan and other contingencies to provide the highest level of support across the full spectrum of MAGTF operations.
“There is a big push for the Marine Corps to once again prove its relevance,” said Hedelund. “Every 2nd MAW squadron now faces that challenge. The first step in the process is to acknowledge what can be done and what challenges must be overcome.”
The Marine Corps’ operational tempo is not slowing and Marines must be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, said Hedelund.
“Everyone is feeling the pinch of the drawdown and retention,” said Hedelund. “The reason for this (forum) is to try to find solutions to these problems internally. The Marine Corps has always had the ability to turn on a dime and it’s our duty as commanders to make sure our Marines have the training and ability to perform the tasks asked of them.”
During the forum, Hedelund and the commanding officers and sergeants major discussed the evolving focus of 2nd MAW’s operations, including the best practices for use of the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and the affects of the Corps-wide drawdown of active-duty Marines. Despite challenges, 2nd MAW remains ready to train, deploy and respond to a variety of contingencies across the world, according to Sgt. Maj. Christopher G. Robinson, Hedelund’s senior enlisted advisor.
“The world is not getting better,” said Robinson. “The Pentagon will find missions for us to complete to showcase our capabilities. Our job now, as a Marine aircraft wing, is how to take on the challenges these capabilities may bring.”