World War II:
Marine Air Control Group-28 (MACG-28) was activated July 1st 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC as Marine Air Warning Group One (MAWG-1). MAWG-1’s first Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel Walter L. J. Bayler, a well renowned Marine famed during World War II as the "Last Man Off Wake Island" and the only American to see combat at Wake Island, Midway, and Guadalcanal. Upon receiving his Master’s Degree in communications engineering at Naval Postgraduate School, he was instrumental in the early developmental stages of the Marine Corps' use of radar for early warning and fighter direction. He was one of the driving forces behind the Marine Corps' establishment of an air warning program and oversaw the formation and training of 18 Air Warning Squadrons within MAWG-1. During World War II, MAWG-1 provided oversight of the air control program designed to train aviation Marines in night intercept skills. Furthermore, it was tasked to set up multiple air defense sites across the US East Coast utilizing its newly trained squadrons. Many of the Air Warning Squadrons would later deploy to combat in the Pacific.
1946 – 1968:
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the group developed tactics for the control of aircraft and missiles for while supporting numerous training events and deployments with the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (2d MAW). The group also underwent a series of re-organizations and re-designations during this period ultimately gaining its present day title of MACG-28 in 1967.
1970s – 1980s:
In 1971 the critical function of wing communications was added to the group's mission. This consolidation joined the organizational colors of Marine Wing Communications Squadron-28 (MWCS-28) with those of Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron 2 (H&HS-2), 3rd Light Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion (3d LAAM Bn), Marine Air Support Squadron 1 (MASS-1), Marine Air Control Squadron 5 (MACS-5), and MACS-6 under the banner of MACG-28.
In 1973, a Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD) platoon was activated and placed under 3rd LAAM Bn. April 1976 introduced the consolidation of air traffic control assets within the 2D MAW and a new squadron, Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron-28 (MATCS-28) joined MACG-28. In October 1983 the 2nd FAAD Battery stood-up and took its place in the organizational structure of MACG-28. In 1986, 2nd FAAD Battery was re-designated as the 2D Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (2D LAAD Bn).
Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm & 1990s:
MACG-28 units played vital roles in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 to 1991, supporting both 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB), and I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF). MACG-28 Detachment Alpha provided a direct air support center (DASC), air support radar team, LAAD Battery, air traffic control detachment, and aviation communications support to the amphibious deception operations conducted by 4th MEB. Augmenting 3D MAW’s command and control, units from MACG-28 provided tactical air command center (TACC), tactical air operations center, airborne DASC, LAAD, LAAM, air traffic control detachments, and aviation communications support in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and into Kuwait.
Throughout the 1990s MACG-28 units participated in numerous training exercises, deployments, and testing and fielding of new equipment to keep pace with the rapid changes in the mobility and lethality of the Marine Air Ground Task Force. During June 1993 MACS-2 was relocated from Hawaii to Beaufort, SC and assigned to MACG-28. The decade also saw a series of unit deactivations impact the group as the Marine Corps reduced its end strength at the end of the Cold War. Subsequently MACS-5 deactivated in June 1993, Headquarters Squadron 28 was re-designated as Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 in May 1993, MATCS-28 deactivated in July 1994, 3d LAAM Battalion deactivated in August 1994, and MACS-6 deactivated in December 1998. In August of 2000, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2 (VMU-2) joined MACG-28. VMU-2 would remain a part of the group until 2013 when they were transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 14.
Operation Enduring Freedom:
MACG-28 actively participated in Operation Enduring Freedom from 2002-2013.
- In 2002 MACG-28 Marines augmented the Coalition Aerospace Operations Center at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia.
- In 2003 MACS-2 provided an air traffic control detachment in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa acted as the liaison between the American pilots and the French and Djiboutian air traffic controllers by ensuring military and civilian aircraft landed and took off safely from Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport.
- During 2009, a detachment from MACG-28 deployed to Afghanistan under Marine Aircraft Group 40, 2D MEB, providing all agencies of the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) to support initial Marine Corps combat operations throughout the Helmand River Valley.
- In 2010 2D LAAD Battalion deployed forces to southern Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa providing air base security at critical sites.
- In 2011 MACG-28 deployed a detachment to Afghanistan with II MEF(forward) in Regional Command Southwest and provided a MACCS in support of 2D MAW elements and airfields at Camp Leatherneck, Camp Dwyer, and Kandahar Airfield.
- In 2013 MACG-28 deployed back to Afghanistan, once again supporting combat operations in Regional Command Southwest. Of note, the unit was recognized for that deployment by being named the Marine Corps Aviation Association’s Command and Control Unit of the Year.
Operation Iraqi Freedom:
MACG-28 actively participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2009.
- In 2003 all subordinate units of MACG-28 deployed Marines with I MEF in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. MASS-1, MWCS-28, and VMU-2 deployed their entire squadrons, while 2D LAAD deployed a battery, MACS-2 an early warning and control detachment, and MTACS-28 critical augments for the 3D MAW TACC.
- In 2004 MACG-28 deployed VMU-2 and an air traffic control detachment from MACS-2, and Bravo Company, MWCS-28 to Al Taqqadum Airfield in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
- In 2005, MACG-28 deployed its headquarters, MTACS-28, MACS-2, 2D LAAD, MASS-1, and MWCS-28 back to Iraq. The units of MACG-28 maintained air command and control, wing communications, and air reconnaissance of the II MEF battle space for the duration of 2005.
- In 2007 MACG-28 redployed to Iraq for the year, once again supporting II MEF combat operations in Western Iraq.
- From February 2007 to November 2007, 2D LAAD, in the role of a provisional security battalion aboard and around Al Asad Airbase, conducted combat and support operations within the Al Anbar Governorate.
- During April 2008 to October 2008 2D LAAD would again deploy to Iraq to provide support and security operations aboard Al Taqaddum Airbase.
- In 2009 MACG-28 deployed all units (with the exception of 2nd LAAD) again to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq where they controlled complex airspace, maintained communications, and provided air reconnaissance support over II MEF in western Iraq.
Today MACG-28 is a force in readiness, regularly deploying elements in support of training and missions around the world. Its Marines and Sailors are well trained and ready to go wherever called on in support of our nation; providing aviation command and control, air defense, and communications support to the 2D MAW.
1943 – 1955
ACTIVATED 1 JULY 1943 AT CHERRY POINT, NORTH CAROLINA, AS 1ST MARINE AIR WARNING GROUP AND ASSIGNED TO 3D MARINE AIRCRAFT WING
REASSIGNED 1 APRIL 1944 TO 9TH MARINE AIRCRAFT WING
REDESIGNATED 1 AUGUST 1946 AS MARINE AIR CONTROL GROUP 1, 2D MARINE AIRCRAFT WING
DEACTIVATED 31 DECEMBER 1955
1956 – PRESENT
REACTIVATED 2 JANUARY 1956 AS MARINE WING HEADQUARTERS GROUP AND ASSIGNED TO AIRCRAFT, FLEET MARINE FORCE, ATLANTIC
REASSIGNED 19 JULY 1960 TO 2D MARINE AIRCRAFT WING
REDESIGNATED 12 MAY 1966 AS MARINE AIR CONTROL GROUP 2
REDESIGNATED 1 SEPTEMBER 1967 AS MARINE AIR CONTROL GROUP 28
ELEMENTS PARTICIPATED IN OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM, SOUTHWEST ASIA, SEPTEMBER-NOVEMBER 1990 AND JANUARY-MARCH 1991
ELEMENTS PARTICIPATED IN OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, UZBEKISTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, AFGHANISTAN AND HORN OF AFRICA, APRIL 2002 – JULY 2006 AND FEBRUARY 2009 – MARCH 2011
ELEMENTS PARTICIPATED IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, IRAQ, MARCH-JUNE 2003, JANUARY 2004 – JANUARY 2005, JANUARY 2006 – JANUARY 2007 AND APRIL-OCTOBER 2008
PARTICIPATED IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, IRAQ, JANUARY 2005 – JANUARY 2006, JANUARY 2007 – FEBRUARY 2008 AND JANUARY-SEPTEMBER 2009
PARTICIPATED IN OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, AFGHANISTAN, MARCH 2011 FEBRUARY 2012 AND JANUARY 2013 – JANUARY 2014
NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION STREAMER WITH ONE BRONZE STAR
IRAQ 2005 – 2006, 2007 - 2008
AMERICAN CAMPAIGN STREAMER
WORLD WAR II VICTORY STREAMER
NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE STREAMER WITH THREE BRONZE STARS
AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN STREAMER WITH TWO BRONZE STARS
IRAQ CAMPAIGN STREAMER WITH FOUR BRONZE STARS
GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM EXPEDITIONARY STREAMER
GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM SERVICE STREAMER