MCAS FUTENMA, Okinawa, Japan --
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley relinquished his duties as commander for 1st Marine Aircraft Wing to Brig. Gen. Christopher A. McPhillips at a change of command ceremony on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, June 25, 2019.
While at 1st MAW, Weidley honorably served as the commander of the Marine Corps’ only forward-deployed MAW from June 2017 to June 2019.
“It has been my absolute honor and privilege to be associated with 1st MAW and to be the commanding general of this elite warrior class,” said Weidley, a Lima, Pennsylvania native. “I can’t tell you how rewarding these last two years have been. There’s no more noble effort to be able to serve our country and Corps while forward stationed and manning the watch for the Pacific, ready to fight or lend assistance.”
Weidley was charged with leading the aviation combat element of III Marine Expeditionary Force, whose mission is to conduct air operations, including offensive air support, anti-air support, aerial reconnaissance and control of aircraft and missiles.
“1st MAW is always ready to respond and always ready to go at a moment’s notice,” added Weidley. “Conflict after conflict, disaster after disaster, crisis after crisis, 1st MAW has been here and assisted with providing peace and stability in this region.”
For years, 1st MAW has played a key role in providing aid to areas in the Indo-Pacific region devastated by natural disasters such as tsunamis, typhoons, mudslides and more. Elements of 1st MAW have participated in disaster relief operations in the Republic of the Philippines, Japan, East Timor and Nepal. Elements have also participated in Operation Fiery Vigil in the Philippines, Restore Hope in Somalia, Noble Eagle in Guam, Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
“I remain convinced that there is no more ready, no more lethal, no more rehearsed combat wing on this planet than 1st MAW,” added Weidley.
Today, 1st MAW is made up of approximately 8,000 Marines and Sailors in four groups, 20 squadrons, and several more rotational squadrons operating under the unit deployment program. In addition to its operational presence, 1st MAW continues to support training exercises in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.
Weidley relinquished command of 1st MAW to McPhillips. McPhillips comes to 1st MAW from 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, where he served as the commanding general.
“I plan to continue all the hard work that Gen. Weidley and his team have put in to 1st MAW, to continue the relationship with our friends, our partners and our allies here in Japan, and our work abroad,” said McPhillips. “[Gen. Weidley] hit it on the head when he said our job is to fight and win, and I have no intention of changing any of that.”
Weidley’s next assignment will be as the joint planning officer with U.S. Forces Korea.