Catalina Island Airport Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

May 9, 2019 | By ggranger
Story byLance Cpl. Juan Anaya,Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing CATALINA ISLAND, Calif. -From dusk to dawn, more than 90 U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), and U.S. Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25, paved their way to mission accomplishment while replacing the runway at Catalina Island Conservancy's Airport in the Sky runway repair project. https://youtu.be/D7urICYggi0 (U.S. Marine Corps Video by Cpl. Mark A. Lowe II/Released)   Closely engaged, the service members worked with the Catalina Island Conservancy to ensure continued success through the Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program, allowing this joint civil-military partnership possible. As clusters of clouds inflicted hurricane-like rain onto the tents atop the mountain, the Marines and Seabees took their leave at noon for the following workdays. With the moon illuminating on them through the tents windows, some decided to gather around a bonfire to share stories as the waves of warmth fluctuated and the faint ember danced before them. [caption id="attachment_17880" align="alignnone" width="618"]
17880
A High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle from Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG-37), provides support to Marines and Seabee’s as they construct a runway at the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Airport in the Sky on Catalina Island, Calif., Feb 9. 3rd MAW's partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy is a unique opportunity for Marines to generate readiness and lethality while also helping the community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mark A. Lowe II)
17880
190209-M-ZJ736-186
A High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle from Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG-37), provides support to Marines and Seabee’s as they construct a runway at the Catalina Island Conservancy’s Airport in the Sky on Catalina Island, Calif., Feb 9. 3rd MAW's partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy is a unique opportunity for Marines to generate readiness and lethality while also helping the community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mark A. Lowe II)
Photo By: Cpl. Mark Lowe
VIRIN: 190509-N-ZY182-7880
A High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle from Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG-37), provides support to Marines and Seabees as they construct a runway at the Catalina Island Conservancys Airport in the Sky on Catalina Island, Calif., Feb, 9. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mark A. Lowe II)   "From the loading of materials onto the barge back in December, to todays ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Marines have exemplified the ability to set conditions to have aircraft fly in to land at the new airstrip," said Master Sgt. Matt Foust, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the project. "We provided a capability through training that would be relevant and advantageous in a fight." With improved materials being the foundation of the new runway, the airstrip is expected to service approximately 40 flights per day, for the next 75 years. Many Marines can take this knowledge with them in a forward deployed environment and be prepared to reconstruct an airfield if needed, said Cpl. Austin Perryman, a combat engineer with MWSS-373. By sustaining applicable training with the Catalina Island Conservancy, 3rd MAW strives in maintaining its readiness by working in any climate and place. [caption id="attachment_17874" align="alignnone" width="618"]
17874
BU2 Gabriel T. Waite, a builder with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25, chisels concrete during the “Catalina Island Airport in the Sky” project at Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 25. 3rd MAW's partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy is a unique opportunity for Marines to conduct applicable training while also helping the community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
17874
190225-M-ES316-0090
BU2 Gabriel T. Waite, a builder with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25, chisels concrete during the “Catalina Island Airport in the Sky” project at Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 25. 3rd MAW's partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy is a unique opportunity for Marines to conduct applicable training while also helping the community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
Photo By: Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya
VIRIN: 190509-N-ZY182-7874
Builder 2nd Class Gabriel Waite, with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25, chisels concrete during the Catalina Island Airport in the Sky project at Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 25. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)   At 1,602 feet above sea level, they worked diligently seven days a week, battling against heavy rain, turbulent winds and cold temperatures. With these efforts, they transformed a once rugged terrain into a 3,000 by 60-foot wide smooth surface for aircraft to land. As an aviation ground support unit, the Ace of Spades provides internal airfield communications, expeditionary airfield services, transportation, routine emergency care and aviation medical functions, and training of personnel. [caption id="attachment_17873" align="alignnone" width="618"]
17873
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), pour concrete at the construction site at Catalina Island, Calif., Jan. 23. The Catalina Island Airport in the Sky project provides training that will make Marines and Sailors far more effective in fulfilling their mission across a wide range of operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
17873
190123-M-ES316-0090
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), pour concrete at the construction site at Catalina Island, Calif., Jan. 23. The Catalina Island Airport in the Sky project provides training that will make Marines and Sailors far more effective in fulfilling their mission across a wide range of operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
Photo By: Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya
VIRIN: 190509-N-ZY182-7873
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), pour concrete at the construction site at Catalina Island, Calif., Jan. 23. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)   This training is going to help us to be more prepared to accomplish our mission in a forward deployed environment, said Gunnery Sgt. James D. Miller, the camp commandant of the project. We dont typically build runways to this extent, but more or less repair runways. With this training, we can confidently send Marines to austere environments to repair runways if needed, he added. The cohesiveness of the Marines, Seabees and Catalina Island Conservancy were the foundation of the construction project, which was completed in April. This has led to todays events; a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the first official landing of aircraft. [caption id="attachment_17878" align="alignnone" width="618"]
17878
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), continue to make progress with the Catalina Island Airport in the Sky project at Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 21. 3rd MAW's partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy is a unique opportunity for Marines to conduct applicable training while also helping the community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
17878
190221-M-ES316-0008
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), continue to make progress with the Catalina Island Airport in the Sky project at Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 21. 3rd MAW's partnership with the Catalina Island Conservancy is a unique opportunity for Marines to conduct applicable training while also helping the community. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
Photo By: Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya
VIRIN: 190509-N-ZY182-7878
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG) 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) and Seabeeswith Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 25continue to make progress with the Catalina Island Airport in the Sky project at Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 21. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)   This historical event has greatly benefited not only the Marines of 3rd MAW but has greatly enhanced the lives of all those it has impacted. "This runway is vital for the people of Catalina, said Tony Budrovich the president and CEO of the Catalina Island Conservancy. "It supplies the island with all of their emergency support, it's how we get our medical supplies, critical goods and the things this island needs to survive and keep running." Projects like the Catalina Island Conservancy's Airport in the Sky provide realistic, relevant training necessary for 3rd MAW to Fix, Fly and Fight as the Marine Corps largest aircraft wing and ensures the unit remains combat-ready, interoperable and deployable on short notice. [caption id="attachment_17871" align="alignnone" width="618"]
190509-N-XZ182-0542.jpg
190509-N-XZ182-0542.jpg
190509-N-XZ182-0542.jpg
190509-N-XZ182-0542.jpg
190509-N-XZ182-0542.jpg
VIRIN: 190509-N-XZ182-0542
U.S. Marines with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW),Seabees withNaval Mobile Construction Battalion 25, and other civilian leaders of Catalina Island, pose for a photo at the grand reopening of the Airport in the Sky on Catalina Island, Calif., May 3. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jacob Pruitt)