Marines heading to desert Published May 23, 2011 By Wayne Crenshaw 78 ABW/PA ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Marines and their distinctive uniforms have become a common sight around Robins, but they won't be seen much during the next four weeks. Aside from a few administrative personnel, members of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 and Marine Aircraft Group 49 Detachment A will head Tuesday to the Mojave Desert to participate in an exercise. The squadron is a reserve unit comprised of aviators who fly close support missions. The detachment is an active-duty unit which manages the units' facilities and oversees operations. The exercise, called Mojave Viper, is aimed at preparing the Marines for deployment to Afghanistan. The members of the squadron based here will fly seven AH-1W Super Cobras and five UH-1N Hueys to California, a trip which will take about three days. Along the way, they'll meet up with the two other sections of the squadron -- one which is in Belle Chasse, La., and the other which is in Jonestown, Pa. The three will join up in Shreveport, La. Combined, about 300 Marines from the two units will take part in the training, said Lt. Col. Michael Johnson, Detachment A commander.