Welcome HomeÂ Marine Attack Squadron 311!
Approximately 150 Marines and sailors with Marine Attack Squadron 311 returned home June 7 from a six month deployment in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan.
â€œBy and large, we were there to support wherever we were needed,â€ said Sgt. Maj. William Shaw, the VMA-311 sergeant major. â€œWe are the big brother of the world; weâ€™re trained to support just as much as weâ€™re trained to fight. Fighting is only a piece of the pie.â€
During the deployment, Marines visited Okinawa, Iwakuni and Sasebo, Japan, and conducted approximately seven major all-hands movements.
â€œThe ability to pick up, move, set in and get operational as quickly as possible is crucial,â€ said Shaw. â€œFor the entire squadron to pick up and move on and off ship as fast as they did is incredible.â€
In addition to large movements, Marines took the opportunity to train and progress their skills.
â€œWe are training our young Marines today to be tomorrowâ€™s leaders,â€ said Shaw. â€œOn this trip alone we got 15 Marines up to resident PME (professional military education) and advanced our qualifications that are organic to what we do.â€
Marines also spent time joint training with both the Air Force and the Navy.
â€œA tool unused is a useless tool,â€ said Shaw. â€œGetting this training with our sister services can only make us better and itâ€™s a great chance to learn more about each other.â€
Overall, the deployment proved successful, beneficial and educational for everyone aboard, but Marines were definitely happy to be home with their loved ones.
â€œIt comes down to one thing; we have good Marines, thatâ€™s it,â€ added Shaw. â€œIn addition to our Marines we have an outstanding family readiness program, have a person that is dedicated and engaged is the most reassuring thing when weâ€™re gone and away from our families.â€
Families and friends of VMA-311 gathered at the squadronâ€™s hangar to welcome home their Marines. The homecoming event was also broadcast live online to allow supporters who could not be there to join in on the occasion.
â€œA lot of guys were coming back and seeing their kids for the first time. Those are memories that are going to last forever,â€ said Shaw. â€œOur welcome was just amazing. Marines were raving about the media broadcast and getting to see everyone they cared about.â€
Since their return, the VMA-311 Marines are continuing on with their daily missions and preparing for a future deployment in support of the 15th MEU based in Marines Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.