MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Since the beginning of the Marine Corps Aviation Force in 1912, aviation has expanded to meet the operations and training requirements that enhance mission capability and combat readiness. For Col. Richard Anderson, commanding officer, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Camp Pendleton, he envisions his own expansion to the air station’s capabilities, support and services that enable I Marine Expeditionary Force’s warfighting mission.
“What we want to do is to be good at the things we are supposed to, supporting the tenants here” said Anderson. “Beyond that, we want make sure that we are resilient.”
By being resilient, the air station can provide operating forces and tenant organizations with continuous and effective support to combat operations. Anderson asks himself, how consistent are we? Can we be reliable 10 to 14 days at a time off power? Can we provide support to California residents during natural disasters? Understanding his air station’s abilities allows Anderson to set and meet goals to improve support to the warfighter.
Anderson said, what would be good for this air station is to provide the Marine Expeditionary Force some kind of strategic lift capabilities so they don't have to travel to March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA. To do that, we are looking at the possibility of expanding the air station’s runway in order to allow more space to build on.
MCAS Camp Pendleton initially provided a 6,000 feet long by 400 feet wide runway as an auxiliary landing field providing basic fuel and maintenance functions in November 1942, and served as a support unit for MCAS, El Toro in Orange County, CA. Today, MCAS Camp Pendleton is a full-fledged air station and hosts the highest concentration of helicopters of all Marine Corps air stations.
In addition to Anderson’s vision to further the contributions of aviation, he seeks to create efficiencies that improve the MEF’s ability to train and prepare for its warfighting efforts, and more importantly find solutions to “never say no to support.”