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AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE WASHINGTON POST WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012 EZ H1 EE Marines Move Forward with Unmanned Systems. PG. 6 Marine Corps Commandant Praises Spirit of Innovation. PG. 2 100 Years of Marine Corps Aviation About this section: This special advertising section was produced by The Washington Post Custom Content department and did not involve The Washington Post news or editorial staff. This section was prepared by Marcy Gessel, a freelance editor, hired by The Washington Post Custom Content department, with the help of the Marine Corps Aviation Association and the US Marine Corps. For more information, please contact: Marc H. Rosenberg, Manager, Corporate and Public Policy advertising, at 202-334-7634. How are we doing? For questions, comments and suggestions regarding this section, please send an email to After 100 Years, Marine Corps Aviation Continues to Provide Support to Ground Troops By Lt. Gen. Terry G. Robling Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation On Jan. 11, 2012, the first Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft taxied to the line at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It was guided to a stop by Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Smith, who put into words to the Eglin base newspaper what all of us felt at that moment: “It’s just a success to see the aircraft here; (its arrival) has been a success for the Marine Corps.” With the arrival of that evolutionary aircraft, the first in a line of 420 Joint Strike Fighters that we will integrate into the force, we have come full circle nearly a century since our first aviator took flight. In May 1912, First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham became the first Marine assigned to duties with aviation. On Aug. 20 of that year he became naval aviator number five and Marine Corps aviator number one, beginning Marine Corps aviation’s legacy. He led our fledgling force in World War I in France and was our first officer in charge of aviation. Marine aviators then took us through the 1920s and 1930s by fighting in places like Haiti, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. In World War II, Marine aviators flew from ships at sea in support of Marines in heavy, daily fighting in places with names that ring down through history: Peleliu, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa among them. Just five years later, many of those same Marine aviators were flying in support of the fighting in Korea, honing our close air support tactics and developing new helicopter assault support tactics that changed the speed of maneuver warfare. We know some of those names, those of famous jet pilot aviators like Ted Williams and John Glenn and Don “The Great Santini” Conroy. Others were lost in combat, or are lost to history, but the efforts of these pilots to develop and perfect the then-evolving ideas of close air support and of vertical envelopment made us a stronger, more-capable force. “ Airpower has become predominant, both as a deterrent to war, and—in the eventuality of war—as the devastating force to destroy an enemy’s potential and fatally undermine his will to wage war. ” General Omar Bradley, U.S. Army During the Vietnam War, Marine aviators cycled overhead 24 hours a day in fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft while supporting Marines across the theater of operations, places which we now study: Hue City, Khe Sanh, the mountains of northern I Corps. In Iraq, Marine aviation leapfrogged forward alongside ground forces on the push to Baghdad and beyond. And today, our aviators are engaged supporting the nearly 100,000 Marine and coalition forces in Afghanistan. We are ever mindful of the strength and flexibility of the air-ground team. During the dark days in Korea in 1950, one Marine remarked, “During the long reaches of the night and in the snowstorms, many a Marine prayed for the coming First Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham, the first Marine aviator, sits at the controls of a Curtiss float plane stationed at the Navy’s Aviation Camp at Annapolis, Md., in the fall of 1912. Painting by Colonel Horace Avery Chenoweth, USMCR. Acrylic on Masonite, 1979. (Art Collection, National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Va.) portfolio of capabilities and penchant for adapting that are needed to be successful in any campaign.” of day or clearing weather, when he knew he would again hear the welcome roar of your planes.” More than 50 years later, an Army Special Forces soldier in Afghanistan related the same feelings when he said, “The only nights that we slept well during the invasion were the nights we heard your Harriers flying overhead.” To meet our national commitments, we will be • America’s expeditionary force in readiness—a balanced air-ground-logistics team; • A force that is forward-deployed and forwardengaged…ready to respond to today’s crisis, with today’s force—today; • A responsive and scalable force that enables and participates in joint and combined operations—and operates independent of local infrastructure; and • A middleweight force, light enough to get there quickly, but heavy enough to carry the day upon arrival. Congress recently passed a budget law that requires the Department of Defense to find more than $450 billion in savings over 10 years, including more than $286 billion over the next five years alone. Our Marine Corps faces tough challenges to meet these savings goals while preserving the core tenets of the National Security Strategy. The Marine Corps has identified a total of $6.2 billion in efficiencies between fiscal years 2012 and 2016. These savings were obtained by realigning supporting The Marine Corps Today “I tell you what, for like three weeks, it felt like nothing but a continuous faucet, a continuous fire hose of airplanes. I never knew a time in November when I had troops in contact when I didn’t get an airplane within about a minute.” - Major John Payne, Battalion Air Officer, Fallujah February 5, 2005 Our national leadership has directed that our Marine Corps shall • • • • Be at the “tip of the spear” when the U.S. military confronts a range of irregular and hybrid conflicts; Maintain a “maritime soul” as we reshape our Corps; Find “the right balance between preserving what is unique and valuable while making changes needed to win the wars we are in and likely to face”; and Maintain “…the Marines’ greatest strengths: a broad  100 YEARS PG.4 “Father of Marine Helicopter Aviation” Took Mission of Close Air Support to the Front short takeoff and landing technology with the Harrier jump jet. “Keith McCutcheon was one of the Marines’ greatest aviation thinkers. McCutcheon’s greater contributions to Marine Aviation didn’t come from his abilities in the cockpit, but rather from his abilities as a tactician and strategic thinker. He saw in Marine aircraft an opportunity to develop the most effective air support the world had ever seen,” said Benjamin Kristy, aviation curator for the National Museum of the Marine Corps. When he was young, McCutcheon was interested in cars and planes and sought out a career as a military pilot, said James Ginther, an archivist at Gray Research Center of Marine Corps University at Quantico, who wrote his PhD dissertation on McCutcheon. During the Great Depression, McCutcheon earned a degree at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in industrial engineering and later he earned a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. McCutcheon used his training in making systems work efficiently to improve the way pilots in the air communicated with troops “ (Photo courtesy USMC) He was neither an ace nor a conventional aviation hero, but Gen. Keith B. McCutcheon represented the spirit of innovation and the commitment to supporting ground troops that exemplify Marine Corps aviation. Born just three years after Alfred Cunningham trained as a pilot, McCutcheon served in the Marine Corps in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. An early helicopter advocate, he has been called “the father of Marine helicopter aviation.” He pioneered new and better ways for Marine aviators to provide close air support to troops and helped pave the way for the Marine Corps to adopt vertical/ on the ground. McCutcheon wasn’t the first to assign actual pilots to infantry units, but he was the first to give pilots on the ground direct communication with the pilot in the air, without sending individual requests through A Military Force without helicopters in the future will be obsolete. ” Lt. Col. Keith B. McCutcheon, 1951 the chain of command first. “What he did was allowed the intervening levels of command to monitor what was happening and to change things if necessary, while enabling that observer with the ground forces and the best view of the situation to talk to the planes overhead,” Ginther said. This sped up the system and allowed it to respond in a more flexible manner. In the early days, military aviators took off to support troops in combat with a fixed target selected, said Major Fred H. Allison, USMC (retired), aviation historian with the Marine Corps History Division. Using real pilots on the ground talking directly to pilots with common training enabled troops close to the targets to provide much clearer direction and more effective control for the air  MCCUTCHEON PG.2

100 Years of Marine Corps Aviation

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