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FALL 2011

Greetings from the Commanding Officer

As we approach our de departure date I can't be prouder of how the Gunfighters have prepared themselves during the last few months for our deployment. Your Marines have performed beyond my expectations in ensuring the Squadron is ready to conduct our nation's bidding while deployed to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. We've continued to prove to the world that the "Gunfighters Rule." Our final personnel transitions are now complete after enduring an approximately 50% turnover of Marines across the squadron. Since the spring the Gunfighters have welcomed two key senior enlisted leaders; our new Sergeant Major and Maintenance Chief. Both have quickly mastered the Gunfighter Salute and are firmly engaged in their roles and ensuring the Marines are both physically and mentally prepared for Afghanistan. SgtMaj Mike Golden arrived in late May from Cherry Point and MGySgt Al Mercadel arrived in early August from New Orleans. With nearly 50 years of combined service to the Marine Corps between the two of them, the Squadron is in good hands as we step off for Afghanistan. Having completed our last major exercise, Mojave Viper, at Marine Corps Combat Development Command Twenty-Nine Palms the Squadron has been assessed as "ready for combat." The Gunfighters performed exceptionally well despite living and working conditions that were more austere than what we will endure in Afghanistan. While we lived in un-air conditioned "K-Spans" in the September heat of the Mojave Desert without many creature comforts, the living spaces we will live in while on deployment are climate controlled and have Wi-Fi service to facilitate Skype video and phone calls to friends and family back home. As you read this newsletter I suspect many of you are enjoying some well earned and well deserved pre-deployment leave with your Gunfighter. Because of your Gunfighter's hard work, sweat, and sacrifice the Squadron is once again ready to deploy to support the Marines of the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). While the date closes on our departure and our focus begins to drift towards our mission in Afghanistan, know that your Marine is proudly participating in the next chapter of the Gunfighters proud and exemplary history. GUNFIGHTERS RULE! Family Readiness LtCol Ian Clark Commanding Officer Marine Light Attack Helicopter 369 Mail information Pictures Helpful websites Newest Mini Gunz


LtCol I.R. Clark Commanding Officer HMLA-369

Inside this issue:

SgtMaj Greetings






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Article from the SgtMaj of HMLA-369

To the friends and families of the Gunfighters, Let me start by saying that it is an honor for me to be in this squadron, serving with some of the hardest working professionals I have ever served with. Every day I am amazed by their dedication to mission accomplishment and how they maintain the high standards that sets them apart from every squadron in the Marine Corps. They are truly a well oiled machine that is hard to describe in words.

Their conduct and performance both on and off duty continue to raise the standard.

SgjMaj M.E. Golden I checked into the squadron in May and the past five months has been a blur. We have been busy training and getting ready to deploy and every month has been filled. During this time, we have learned from each other and have become a team that is ready for the challenges that we will face during our deployment. I can assure you, your Gunfighter is prepared, motivated, and ready to deploy. Each Marine understands the importance of their mission, to provide close air support the Marines on the ground, and they pride themselves on that fact. Of course this would not be possible without your support. Being a Marine is tough, but I think we have the easy part and I believe the toughest job in the Marine Corps is being the spouse of a U.S. Marine, as well as a family member. You do a tremendous job at being there for your Gunfighter and taking care of things on the home front. In closing, I'd like to thank all of our family and friends for your generous support throughout our pre -deployment training. Be proud of your Gunfighter and enjoy your time together.

Let's get ready for a successful deployment, So we can have a wonderful reunion!

Family Readiness Team

Hello Gunfighter families and friends, It is time again for HMLA-369 to go forward and do good things. With that said they leave behind all of you. There are many ways to support your Gunfighter. First: remember that they will be busy....very busy. So don't get upset if your Gunfighter cannot contact you every day. Second send them some sending care packages and letBarbara Greenbush ters. I know this is the computer age and e-mails are fast, but receiving a hand written Family Readiness Officer card or letter is the best. Packages are always greatly anticipated. Third take care of Work cell 858-603-7726 [email protected] yourself, when your Gunfighter hears that you are healthy and happy it helps them concentrate on their jobs. The forth way is to reach out to others, don't go through the deployment alone. There are 100's of family members that are waiting for their loved ones to return too. Last but not least love the heck out of your Gunfighter before, during and after this deployment. Remember that the family readiness team is here for you. Contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Barbara Greenbush your (FRO)

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Deployment mailing information

PERSONAL DEPLOYED ADDRESS RANK, FULL NAME HMLA 369 (shop) Unit 40081 FPO AP 96427-0081 TIPS FOR PROPER PACKAGING Recommend NYLON FILAMENT FIBER TAPE OR MAILING TAPE. Masking and scotch tape are NOT AUTHORIZED. Always use DURABLE boxes. Use BUBBLE WRAP/STYROFOAM POPCORN when sending breakable items. Package items TIGHTLY to avoid shifting. Never send BULKY items in an envelope (i.e, Keys, Dog Tags, Rings, and Cassette Tapes). Include the RETURN and ADDRESSEES ADDRESS inside the parcel. Place the address on only one side of the article being mailed. Use INSURANCE on packages that contain valuable items going to and from the U.S. and deployment site. CUSTOMS REGULATIONS All parcels being sent FROM, TO or BETWEEN an APO/FPO must bear a customs form. Custom forms must be filled out in DETAIL. All mail weighing OVER 16 OUNCES must be presented to a post office for mailing. EXPRESS MAIL not authorized. If accidentally accepted at post office, request refund for overpayment. MAILING RESTRICTIONS No Alcohol. No OBSCENE MATERIAL (pictures, magazines, nude or semi-nude). No PORK and PORK BY-PRODUCTS. No LARGE QUANTITIES of material contrary to the Islamic belief. Quantities for personal use are permissible. USPS provides FREE shipping supplies which include the following: 10 priority boxes 10 mailing labels 10 customs forms 1 roll of bubble wrap 1 roll of priority tape The FREE shipping supplies are mailed directly to your home! Ask for the MILITARY PACKAGE Call 1-800-610-8734 Visit MOTOMAIL Free USMC system that delivers sealed letters submitted via the Internet from anywhere and is printed at USMC Post Offices in Afghanistan and usually delivered within 24 hours or less. Login to System provides "Real-Time Tracking" via online report viewer and login messaging and optionally via email. Fast, Safe, Secure, Accurate and Private

TIME CONVERSION Afghanistan is 12 hours and 30 minutes ahead of the west coast. For example, if it is 1700 (5:00pm) in California, it will be 0530 (5:30am) the next day there

Gunfighter salute for some of our newest Mini Gunz

Helpful websites

Base information, with all the programs you need and more. Health care information Information for all military and families. The new squadron information website


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