MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Approximately 90 Marines from Marine Attack Squadron 513 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13 returned to the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz., from Japan Jan. 12, 2010, after a six-month deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
After arriving home the returning Marines were greeted by their friends and family for a joyous reunion.
“It’s so nice, today is my birthday,” said Danielle Townsend, wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Townsend, VMA-513 airframes staff noncommissioned officer in charge. “The Marine Corps gave me the best present ever.”
The eight AV-8B Harriers and pilots that deployed with the squadron are slated to return later this month.
While on deployment, the Nightmares participated in Wolmi-Do Fury, an exercise where the squadron flew long-range missions out of mainland Japan to training ranges, and Ryuku Warrior, providing close-air-support and nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the exercise.
While with the MEU, the squadron was attached to the USS Essex, but preformed limited shipboard operations because the Essex was in dry-dock for a majority of the deployment. Instead, the Nightmares trained at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan.
The Nightmares were also scheduled to participate in Exercise Phidlex in the Philippines. However, due to a series of violent storms that left widespread destruction, it was cancelled.
“Our exercise was cancelled due to intense competition for logistics to support the real and urgent mission down there,” said Lt. Col. Marcus Annibale, squadron commanding officer in the squadron newsletter.
In addition, the rest of VMA-513 who deployed with the 11th MEU in September 2009, are slated to return home later this year.