Marine Air Control Group-28 (MACG-28) was initially activated July 1st 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. It was designated as 1st Marine Air Warning Group (MAWG) and was initially assigned to 3D Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) and then reassigned April 1st 1944 to 9th MAW. During World War II, 1st MAWG oversaw the formation and training of 18 air warning squadrons.
In August of 1946, the Group was re-designated as Marine Air Control Group 1 performing general administrative support functions before being deactivated December 31st of 1955.
On January 2nd 1956, the unit was reactivated as Marine Wing Headquarters Group under 2D MAW composed of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron-2 and Marine Air Control Squadron 7 (MACS-7). In 1965 MACS-7 was directed to deploy to Okinawa and subsequently saw duty in the Republic of Vietnam.
During May of 1966 the Group was re-designated as Marine Air Control Group-2. It was in this year that Third Light Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion (3rd LAAM Bn) was assigned to the Group. In 1967, re-designation occurred again and the Group was assigned its present day title as Marine Air Control Group-28 (MACG-28).
With its new designation came the additional organizations of Marine Air Support Squadron-1 (MASS-1) and Marine Air Control Squadron-5 (MACS-5). In 1971 the critical function of Wing communications was added to the Group's support capabilities. This consolidation joined the organizational colors of Marine Wing Communications Squadron-28 with those of H&HS-28, 3rd LAAM Battalion, MASS-1, 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 Battalion. April 1976 introduced the consolidation of air traffic control assets within the 2D Marine Air Wing and a new squadron, Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron-28 (MTACS-28) joined MACG-28.
In October 1983 the Second Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD) Battery stood-up and took its place in the organizational structure of MACG-28. In 1986, FAAD was re-designated as the 2D Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (2d LAAD Bn).
MACG-28 units played vital roles in OPERATION DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM in 1990 to 1991. MACG-28 supported both 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (4th MEB), and I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF). MACG-28 Detachment Alpha provided a Direct Air Support Center, Air Support Radar Team, Low Altitude Air Defense Battery, Air Traffic Control Detachment, and aviation communications support to the amphibious deception operations conducted by 4th MEB. Augmenting 3rd Marine Aircraft Wings command and control, units from MACG-28 provided Tactical Air Command Center, Tactical Air Operations Center, Airborne DASC, LAAD Battalion, Light Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion, ATC Detachments, and aviation communications support in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and into Kuwait. As OPERATION DESERT STORM was successfully concluded, the forward deployed elements of MACG-28 maintained air command and control in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as 3rd MAW air control units retrograded home.
In 1996, MACS-5 was deactivated, and MACS-6 was re-designated as MACS-2. Throughout the post-DESERT STORM period, 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 (MAGTF). In August of 2000, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2 (VMU-2) joined MACG-28.
On Sept 11, 2001 MACG-28 Marines answered the Nation’s call to avenge the terrorist attacks in Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New York City. MACG-28 Marines were sent almost immediately to augment the Coalition Aerospace Operations Center (CAOC) at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia and were manning tactical positions on the CAOC floor when the first bombs fell in Afghanistan, beginning the returning shots in the Global War on Terror.
In the period after 9/11, MACG-28 Marines continued to serve in Marine Expeditionary Units which provided the first conventional Ground forces in Afghanistan. They also maintained their presence in the CAOC, assisting with the Command and Control of the Air Campaign, and providing support to the forces on the ground in Afghanistan. Notably, MACS-2 deployed an Early Warning and Control Site to assist with data collection on Iraq in the months building to OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
During OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM all subordinate units of MACG-28 deployed Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force. MASS-1, MWCS-28, VMU-2 deployed their entire squadrons, while 2nd LAAD deployed a battery, MACS-2 an EW/C detachment, and MTACS-28 critical augments for the 3d MAW TACC.
At the conclusion of Major Offensive Operations, most elements of MACG-28 redeployed. In early 2004 MACG-28 deployed VMU-2 and an Air Traffic Control Detachment from MACS-2, and B CO, MWCS-28 to Al Taqqadum Airfield in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. At the
start of 2005, MACG-28 deployed its Headquarters, MTACS-28, MACS-2, 2nd LAAD, MASS-1, MWCS-28 back to Iraq. The units of MACG-28 maintained Air Command and Control, Wing Communications, and ISR of the MEF battle space for the duration of 2005, then the majority redeployed back to the States.
In January 2007, MACG-28 continued their support of MEF deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Throughout the year MACG-28 detachment support of Marine Expeditionary Units continued as the 22nd MEU stood up, 24th MEU redeployed and the 26th MEU deployed.
MACG-28 deployed all units (with the exception of 2nd LAAD) again in 2009 to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom where they controlled complex airspace, maintained communications, and provided ISR support over II MEF (fwd) battlespace in western Iraq.
Throughout 2009 MACG-28 deployed VMU-2 to two different areas of operations. VMU-2 provided support to both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan where they utilized both Shadow and Scan Eagle systems to provide intelligence and imagery analysis support over the MEF and MEB battle spaces.
During 2009, a detachment from MACG-28 deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom under Marine Aircraft Group 40, 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, providing all agencies of the MACCS to support initial Marine Corps combat operations throughout the Helmand River Valley.
When tragedy struck Haiti during February 2010 with a massive earthquake, MACG-28 provided a detachment to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in support of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief operations (Joint Task Force Operation Unified Response).
In January 2013, MACG-28 (Forward) again deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand Province, Afghanistan becoming the last Marine air command and control unit to control the airspace over southern Afghanistan.
MACG-28’s detachment for the 26th MEU answered the call when Hurricane Irma brought flooding and destruction to Key West, FL in September of 2017. In addition, MACS-2’s Air Traffic Control Team controlled and coordinated over 100 aircraft carrying personnel and supplies in and out of Boca Chica Airfield. This in turn allowed the Key West Naval Air Station to play a larger, more efficient role in assisting the local community.
MACG-28 stands ready to deploy wherever called in support of our Nation, providing tactical aviation command and control, air defense, integrated UAS ISR, and communications support to 2D Marine Aircraft Wing.