Edwards leadership and Marines from the 4th Aircraft Marine Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 41 Detachment Alpha, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764, known as the “Moonlighters,” were all on hand to witness the re-designation of the historic HMM 764 to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 764 Jan. 12 in Hangar 1210.
In addition to the re-designation, the squadron welcomed a new commander in which Lt. Col. Scott Craig relinquished command to Lt. Col. David Weinstein.
“This ceremony marks three different things all happening simultaneously. First, and foremost, is the change of command ceremony, the second is the re-designation, and lastly, it marks a move and relocation for the unit,” said Brig. Gen. William Collins, 4th MAW commanding general, who presided over the ceremony. “With that said, I want to personally thank General Brewer and all the Airman at Edwards, for the outstanding support you all have provided and for being such a gracious host for more than 13 years. We’ve established relationships that, at this point, we’re sad to see go, but as always we will remain friends and look forward to seeing you all in the future.”
With the departure of the squadron’s last CH-46 Dec. 19, 2012, the re-designation and change of command ceremony marked a new chapter which will include the squadron’s acquisition of the MV-22 Osprey.
“This last year marked a significant milestone in Marine aviation, as we just passed 100 years of marine aviation, and I have to tell you how fitting this is to go into this 101st year with another milestone, which is this squadron’s transition into a new aircraft,” added Collins. “As we transition to the V-22, the aircraft itself brings an increased capability that is taking us into the next chapter of Marine Corps history. It, right now, is providing our commanders across the globe an unprecedented level of performance and we look forward to the transition of this capability within the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.”
Once Weinstein assumed command, he addressed his fellow Marines and explained what lay ahead for the future of the squadron.
“To all the former Moonlighters and the members of the HMM 764, we’re not continuing on, we’re transitioning. Thank you very much for all your hard work and what you’ve done to contribute to the legacy of this squadron. We will do our very best to make sure that we make you proud and carry that legacy on way into the future,” said Weinstein, VMM 764 commanding officer. “Finally, to the Marines of VMM 764, we have a significant challenge ahead of us. For the past several months, as our brothers in HMM 764 we’re helping retire our beloved CH-46, the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing has lost part of its capability in supporting operations; it’s our mission to bring that capability back as soon as possible. I look forward to working with you all in the coming months as we accomplish that mission.”
In the upcoming months, the squadron will prepare to relocate to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego by July 2013.
Unit History of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764
- Activated April 15, 1958, as Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron 764, organized U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Aviation), Naval Air Station, Los Alamitos, Calif.
- Re-designated April 1, 1962, as Marine Medium helicopter Squadron 764, organized USMCR (Aviation), Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment, Marine Air Reserve Training Command, Naval Air Station, Los Alamitos, Calif.
- Reassigned during November 1965, to Marine Aircraft Group 46, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, USMCR, Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment, Marine Air Reserve Training Command.
- Relocated during May 1971, to Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, Calif.
- Re-designated October 1, 1979, as Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764, Marine Aircraft Group 46, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
- Activated to support the active duty forces during the Persian Gulf War from November 1990 to April 1991.
- Relocated during 1999 to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process.
- Deployed from February to September 2004, and March to October 2005, to Al Asad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- From Apr. 25 to June 25, 2008, the squadron was part of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 24 onboard the USS Boxer (LHD-4).
- From June 2006 to September 2010, the squadron was tasked with providing all assault support for Exercise Enhanced Mojave Viper conducted at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.
- From September 2010 to present, HMM 764 has provided assault support throughout southern California, ensuring forward deployed Marines are ready to fight, in any clime or place.