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Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265

 

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265

Dragons

MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Japan

Commanding Officer
LtCol Mark E. Woodard 

A native of Auburn, WA, Lieutenant Colonel Woodard attended Marquette University from 1995 to 1997. In 1996 he enrolled in the Marine Corps' Platoon Leaders' Class. Lieutenant Colonel Woodard transferred to Central Washington University graduating in August 1999 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.

After completion of The Basic School, 1stLt Woodard attended flight school and was designated a Naval Aviator on 26 April 2002. He then reported to HMM(T)-164 at MCAS Camp Pendleton, CA for CH46E Sea Knight training.

1stLt Woodard reported to HMM-261 at MCAS New River, NC in November 2002. As a "Raging Bull", 1stLt Woodard served as schedule writer, Pilot Training Officer, Weapons and Tactics Instructor and finally Department of Safety, Standardization and NATOPS Department Head. 1stLt Woodard first deployed with the squadron to Iraqi Freedom 2. Capt Woodard deployed again with HMM-261 (REIN) and the 22d MEU (SOC) aboard the USS Nassau, participating again in Iraqi Freedom. Capt Woodard deployed a third and final time with HMM-261 (REIN) and 22d MEU aboard USS Kearsarge to the EUCOM and CENTCOM AORs. This was the Bulls' last deployment with the CH46E. Capt Woodard assisted in the squadron's transition to the MV22B before attending resident Expeditionary Warfare School in 2008.

In 2009 Capt Woodard was assigned as Exercise Branch Air Officer with the Marine Special Operations School. In 2010 the branch became the G-7 Exercises, Doctrine, and Lessons Learned Branch, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC). In the G-7 Maj Woodard served as the Air Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Operations Officer. Maj Woodard planned, coordinated, and executed 7 RAVEN series pre-deployment certification exercises for MARSOC Teams, Companies and Battalion Special Operations Task Forces (SOTFs).

In 2011 Maj Woodard transitioned to the MV22B Osprey aircraft at VMMT-204 and was subsequently assigned to VMM-263. As a "Thunder Chicken", Maj Woodard served as the Logistics Officer, Operations Officer and Executive Officer. Maj Woodard deployed with VMM-263 (REIN) as part of the 22d MEU to the CENTCOM AOR, participating in the initial stages of Inherent Resolve. As detachment OIC Maj Woodard led the first deployment of MV22Bs onboard an LPD, the USS Mesa Verde.

In 2015 Maj Woodard was assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations, Director of Air Warfare, OPNAV N98. Maj Woodard worked on the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process in support of Deputy Commandant for Aviation, HQMC initiatives for the MV22B Aircraft such as: V22 Multi-Year Procurement Contract III, Common Configuration Readiness and Modernization Plan (CCRAM-Plan) and USMC support to the Navy's transition to the V22.

LtCol Woodard's personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal with numeral "7", Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. LtCol Woodard has flown over 2100 hours of flight time, mainly in the CH46E helicopter and the MV22B tiltrotor.