Marine Aviation Organization Structure
Info from Col. John J. Caldas, U.S. Marine Corp Retired
The highest level of aviation command is the Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW); composed of two or more Aircraft Groups, and their support units.
There are 4 Marine Air Wings (MAWs); 3 regular and 1 reserve. The MAW consists of fixed wing and rotary wing Groups; and squadrons.
There are several types of Groups - Fixed wing fighter/attack Groups MAG-11/12/13/14, etc. The fixed wing squadrons are designated V(heavier than air), M (Marine), F(fighter), A(attack), R(Transport), Q(ECM) and T(Training).
Helicopter Groups- MAGs16/16/39 etc. Marine Helo units are designated H (Helo/Rotary)
Examples are HML-767 Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 767, HMM-261 Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron, HMLA-775 Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadron and HMH-769 Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron
Marine Air Control Groups MACG-18/28/38
MACS- Marine Air Control Squadron
MTACS- Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron
Marine Wing Support Groups - MSWG-17/27/37, etc.
Support Squadrons/headquarters Sqs/Maintenance Squadrons/etc;
H&MS-11 Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron
MALS- Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron
MABS- 11 Marine Airbase Squadron
Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron MWHS-1/2/3/4 (1 for each wing)
For example- The 2nd Marine Air Wing has several Groups- MAGs-14 (Fixed Wing), 32, and 26 (Helo)
Each Group has several squadrons- VMF/A, HMM, VMGR, etc.
Naturally, the support tail goes with all of them.
VMGR-252 Marine Transport Squadron (Also refueling - C-130s)
VMFA- 312 Marine Fighter Attack squadron
VMAQ- 2 - Marine Electronic Countermeasure Squadron 2 (EA-6)
VMT-201 - Marine Training Squadron 201 or VMFT- Fighter Training Sqa.
All of Marine Aviation units are task organized. For example, the Marine Expeditionary Unit could contain elements of a Harrier (VMA) squadron, medium helicopters (HMM-CH-46's), Heavy Lift Helos (HMH- CH-53's), plus the admin and maint support they would need while deployed with the Amphibs aboard an LHA/LPD, etc.
The Marines also detach squadrons to fill out a Navy Carrier Air Group.
SA, of course, is interested in the fixed wing attack squadrons that flew the Skyhawk, such as VMA-121; AND their supporting groups as they also had Skyhawks assigned to them.