With Marine Corps aviation in the midst of across-the-board transitions to new or upgraded aircraft, now is a good time to see how these changes are impacting the Corps’ reserve wing — the 4th MAW.

HMLA-773’s flagship AH-1W, with the red bulldog painted on the engine cowlings leaving no doubt as to which squadron this aircraft belongs to. All photos Joe Copalman unless otherwise credited

WITHIN THE US Marine Corps, reservists serve in the Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES), the structure of which mirrors the basic organization of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) — with a command element, a ground combat element, a logistics combat element, and the 4th Marine Air Wing (4th MAW) representing the aviation combat element (ACE). Established in 1942, the 4th MAW has been the home of Marine reserve aviation since 1962, when it merged with Marine Air Reserve Training Command (MARTC). It has maintained its current form since 1979, when the MARTC was disbanded, and the 4th MAW was reorganized in line with the structure of the USMC’s three active-component air wings.

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