Saying Goodbye: Marine unit to deactivate Thursday

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
By this time next week, you'll no longer hear the distinctive sounds of a four-bladed UH-1Y Huey utility helicopter hovering above the skies of Middle Georgia.

Team Robins will have one final chance to offer farewell wishes to the men and women of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 (minus) following a ceremony next week. 

A deactivation ceremony for Marine Aircraft Group-49 Detachment Alpha, and a consolidation ceremony for HMLA-773 will take place at 11 a.m. June 16 in Bldg. 2071. Special guests will include Col. Robert Braatz Jr., MAG-49 commanding officer and Col. Jeff King, 78th Air Base Wing commander. 

Known as the Red Dogs, the squadron is part of three separate detachments; however, its operations will consolidate this summer with its sister unit, HMLA-773 Detachment B at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. They represent the only Reserve Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron in the Marine Corps. 

There are 150 active duty Marines stationed here, with about 180 Reservists who drill regularly, all supporting military special operations throughout the U.S., including the Air Force Joint Attack Terminal Controller School at Hurlburt Field, Florida.; Army JTACs at Fort Benning, Georgia; and Marine training operations in Barstow, California, New Orleans, Louisiana, Pensacola, Florida, and along the East Coast.

The last few weeks have been busy here for members of HMLA-773. Along with packing office areas and equipment, some of the squadron's remaining 10 aircraft, specifically two of its AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, began to depart Robins this week. 

Under the command of MAG-49, Det A, which is part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, its active duty and Reserve units train at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California, where the aircraft were headed this week. While personnel will continue to move during the next several weeks, an element of the unit will remain behind to support various requirements before closing shop for good in December. The unit relocated to Robins in July 2010 from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.