MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines with Unmanned Aerial-Vehicle Squadron 3 celebrated their fifth anniversary as a functioning unit at the squadron’s hangar Sept. 12.
VMU-3 was activated on September 12, 2008 aboard the Combat Center’s Lance Cpl Torrey L. Gray field. They established their force capabilities to be day and night intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and logistics support.
In January 2010, just 16 months after the unit's activation, VMU-3 found themselves deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed, VMU-3 provided over 225 hours of unmanned aircraft support per day - the most in Marine Corps history.
“I’m very proud to be the commanding officer of this squadron,” said Lt. Col. John D. Thurman, commanding officer, VMU-3. “I couldn’t find better Marines to have.”
The squadron united for a group photo at their hangar, and listened as their leadership made remarks about the significance of five faithful years of operations.
“We take pride in what we do,” said Sgt. Maj. Christopher W. Nagle, sergeant major, VMU-3. “It’s fantastic to be here celebrating five years.”
According to Thurman, what lies ahead for the squadron is a movement to Kaneohe Bay, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in July 2014.
Thurman is certain the squadron will continue to be as excellent as they have ever been.
“These Marines are first and foremost, professionals,” Thurman said. “They take their obligations seriously when it comes to a professional aviation mindset, and they do their jobs day- in and day-out to achieve mission accomplishment.”