For the first time since Marine Corps combat operations in Iraq ended earlier this year, an F-18 Hornet squadron from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is headed to a war zone.
The Werewolves of Beaufort’s Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 is headed for a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan.
The Werewolves’ tour of duty is the first combat deployment by a Beaufort F-18 squadron since Marines turned over control of the Al Anbar province, Iraq’s largest province and a former al-Qaida stronghold, to the Army’s 1st Armored Division in January. The move signaled an end to the Corps’ mission in Iraq and the end of combat deployments from MCAS Beaufort to the war-torn Middle Eastern nation.
Only one unit from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort — a 40-Marine detachment from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 — has been sent to Afghanistan since President Barack Obama shifted the focus of the nation¹s war on terrorism to fighting Taliban forces there earlier this year.
The detachment returned to the air station in April.