This month, we wanted to highlight the men in the squadrons from our most popular shirt design, the Pegasus squadron. Zoar Morales, who we’ve worked with to make shirts for both the Pegasus squadron and the “Super Squadron” Dragons, explains more:
I know you were involved with at least two squadrons, the Pegasus HMH-463 and the Dragons VMM-265. Can you tell us a bit more about these squadrons?
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) is based in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. We specialize in troop transport and aerial delivery of heavy equipment. There are over 300 Marines in our unit, serving in various roles to keep our aircraft, the CH-53E Super Stallion, flying so that we are ready to take action when called upon.
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 Reinforced (VMM-265 REIN) served as the Air Combat Element (ACE) on the 31st Marine Expeditionary United (31st MEU), based out of Okinawa, Japan. While serving as the ACE, VMM-265 joined forces with detachments from a Light Attack Helicopter squadron and a Heavy Helicopter squadron. The 31st MEU holds a “Quick Reaction Force” role in the Pacific and VMM-265(REIN) was responsible for any aviation related needs.
So far the Pegasus shirts have been the most popular we’ve made! Did your group get to wear these at any particular events, or were they more for enjoying Hawaii overall?
Though it might seem like an inaccurate stereotype, floral print shirts really are a popular piece of attire in Hawaii. Having these custom shirts made for our squadron has allowed our Marines to demonstrate unit pride out in town, on the streets of Honolulu, and on the beaches of Waikiki. Additionally, our unit family events are always painted green by Marines and relatives wearing their Pegasus Aloha shirts.
I remember when you were in the “super squadron” you were stationed in Okinawa for a few months. What was your favorite part of living in Japan?
Onikawa is the Hawaii of Japan. People from mainland Japan flock to Okinawa for vacation getaways. There are great locations for snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and hiking. Several ancient castles and historic battle sites are scattered throughout the island. Seafood and curry are common meals and are always delicious. Respect is a prominent value in Okinawan culture. Living there was enjoyable because anywhere you went, you were sure to be greeted by friendly faces.
Do you have any upcoming special events, news, or shout-outs you’d like us to share?
This summer MHM-463(REIN) will be serving as the ACE in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC 2018). RIMPAC is the world’s largest naval exercise which takes place biennially and has participants from over 20 different countries. This exercise is meant to enhance interoperability between various countries along the Pacific Rim and to promote stability in the Pacific region.