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NEWS | May 22, 2024

MALS-24 Displaced Warrior

By 1st Lt. Isis Coty, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing

From April 8th to May 10th, 2024, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 24, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24,1st Marine Aircraft Wing, executed a meticulously planned exercise, displacing a main body detachment of 59 U.S. Marines and equipment across Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The purpose of Displaced Warrior was to rehearse intermediate-level aviation logistics in austere conditions. An additional 48 Marines made up the second main body and rotated in to gain exposure to Mobile Maintenance Facilities (MMFs) without disrupting the ongoing flight operations at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

This exercise marked the beginning of a series of exercises MALS-24 will execute called the Warrior Series, designed to address challenges to the unit’s ability to support flight operations, deliver supplies and provide maintenance from a displaced location. During the exercise, MALS-24 partnered with other units, showcasing the importance of interoperability. MALS-24 employed a maintenance detachment supported by Marine Wing Support Squadron 174 for logistical movement and refueling capabilities, and Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18 for tactical communications, ensuring sustainment to MAG-24.

"This was the first time many of our Marines have been exposed to displacing from our normal squadron environment,” remarked Capt. Darren Palmore, the officer in charge of Displaced Warrior. “Displaced Warrior allowed us to focus on creating advantages, practicing signature management, operating in degraded communications and most importantly, brilliance in the basics."

Key events included the complexing of MMFs at landing zone (LZ) Eagle, aviation logistics communications, material deliveries in communication-degraded or denied environments, and maintenance repairs of flight equipment. Notably, MALS-24, in collaboration with 1st MAW Aviation Logistics Department, employed a prototype of the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) called a Performance Evaluation Checklist (PECL). This PECL encompassed a series of tasks to evaluate the agility, utility, and functionality of MMFs and the Fly-in Support Allowance MALS-24 can provide. This checklist aided the Marines in accomplishing each task with precision and proficiency.

"The ultimate goal of this exercise is to test new concepts. We must evaluate how we can become quicker, lighter, and more adaptable to help the Marine Aircraft Group in today's environments. This is our way of seeing how well our unit can perform in these distributed aviation environments so that we can focus on how we sustain that fight.”

As the exercise ended, MALS-24 departed LZ Eagle, having gained invaluable experience and knowledge. This newfound readiness will fortify them for future challenges in sustaining flight operations in austere environments.

​The insights gathered from this exercise will inform Aviation Logistics Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for adjacent MALS units operating in near-peer contested environments within the INDOPACOM area of responsibility. Ultimately, Displaced Warrior shed light on Aviation Information Technology and organic communication capabilities, identifying strengths and areas for improvement that are crucial for maintaining superiority in the ever-evolving theater of operations.