ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, GUAM --
U.S. Marines from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 (FWD), helped restore the island of Guam after Typhoon Mawar, while on their way back to their homeport, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. Typhoon Mawar was a Category 4 storm, producing winds of at least 130 miles per hour, making it one of the stronger typhoons to hit Guam in decades.
“Working as a team with our sister services as well as the local community has been very rewarding and it feels great to physically see the difference we have made so far.” Maj. William Dunst
One hundred twenty-four U.S. Marines and Sailors were on-board SS Curtiss (T-AVB 4) in support of exercise BALIKITAN 23 in the Philippines. While on their retrograde back to MCAS Miramar, the ship stopped in Guam on May 14, 2023, to drop off an aviation support package of aeronautical equipment and personnel to support the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing summer exercise series.
When Typhoon Mawar hit the island ten days later, MALS-16 (FWD) jumped into action, providing help to Joint Region Marianas to recover from the storm.
“As visitors to the island, we felt compelled to provide immediate response to the local community and the entire JRM team,” said U.S. Marine Maj. William Dunst, commander of troops (T-AVB 4) assigned to MALS-16 (FWD).
MALS-16 (FWD) teamed up with Task Force 75 and Naval Base Guam to assist with defense support of civilian authorities and base restoration.
“We provided support with two Defense Support of Civil Authorities missions at the Mangilao Solar Panel Substation and the Nimitz Hill reservoir,” said Dunst. “Working as a team with our sister services as well as the local community has been very rewarding and it feels great to physically see the difference we have made so far.”
They have also put in over 2,200 hours of base restoration by clearing debris across Naval Base Guam, Coast Guard Sector Guam, Marine Corps Camp Blaz and Andersen Air Force Base.
“Looking at the devastation across the island, we couldn’t help but assist in restoration efforts,” Dunst commented. “My team has been putting in hard work and will continue to put in hard work until it’s time for us to leave. Marines don’t sit idly, we seize the initiative to respond to crisis in any clime and place.”