The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band was established for service during WWII. Soon after WWII ended, the band was deactivated and its members were sent to serve in Marine units in China and at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii. In 1952 the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band was officially reactivated at Marine Corps Air Station Miami, Florida in support of the Korean conflict.
In 1957, while the Third Marine Aircraft Wing relocated to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California, the band remained in Miami and was assigned to Marine Air Group (MAG) 31. Later, the musicians attached to MAG-31 were integrated into the Air Fleet Pacific Band, in Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California. It was at this time the band received the title of Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band.
The Third Marine Aircraft Wing remained at El Toro until 1997, when Naval Air Station Miramar was converted to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. From 1997 through 1999, all units relocated from Marine Corps Air Station El Toro to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar as part of the base realignment process. The band reported to its current location at MCAS Miramar in January 1999.
The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band has deployed numerous times throughout its history. In addition to the initial deployment to China in WWII, the band’s combat history includes a seven month deployment with the Third Marine Aircraft Wing in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from October 1990 to April 1991. During that deployment, the band served as a perimeter security machine gun platoon and served in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Empire of Kuwait, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The band returned to that same region in February of 1999 and 2000, to perform musical goodwill tours. During each of those tours, the band performed over forty concerts in the countries of Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and the Bahrain for thousands of people including United Sates Dignitaries and Arabic royalty. In February 2003, the band returned to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom for a four month deployment as a perimeter security platoon at Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base. Among the few musical duties that the band was able to perform during the deployment was a concert at a palace of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Babylon, Iraq, marking the first American military band to perform in Iraq. Beginning in August 2004, the band assumed perimeter security for the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Tactical Air Command Center (TACC) Compound at Al Asad in the Al Anbar province in Iraq. The musical highlight of the deployment was the First Marine Expeditionary Force Change of Command ceremony at Camp Fallujah I September 2004. The band returned to the United States on March 7, 2005. The Third Marine Aircraft Wing brought the band back to Al Asad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2007 to perform perimeter security for the TACC Compound once again. The most recent deployment has been with the addition of troops to Afghanistan. The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band has once again answered the call and sent a portion of its members to Camp Leatherneck, Helmond Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to perform security for Tactical A.R. Command Center Security.
All members of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band are combat trained Marines. Annual weapons qualification ensures that Marine musicians are as proficient with weapons as they are with their musical instruments. With combat veterans within their ranks, they will give full meaning to the term “Marine Musicians.”
Read more about the 3rd MAW Band at www.3rdmaw.marines.mil