MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- Before aircraft can soar above cheering crowds, Marines with operations and logistics spend months in advance coordinating and preparing safe boundaries with fencing and provide seating, water stands and restroom facilities for the comfort of spectators during the air show.?
Their work often goes unseen but, without them the flight line would become chaotic.?
?We have to coordinate to get gear,? said Staff Sgt. Matthew Arismendez, the operations chief with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and a Monday, Texas, native. ?We have to find who has it, where it is and then we have to coordinate to pick it up.?
Gear is acquired from units with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing aboard Marine Corps Base Pendleton, Calif., Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.?
Also, contractors provide port-a-johns, and other services that make it possible to support more than 500,000 fans who visit each year.?
Operations Marines also coordinate with personnel at the mess hall to provide workers with meals for the weekend.?
?About 15,000 meals are made over the entire course of the weekend,? said Master Sgt. George M. Jones, the installation operations and logistics chief with H&HS and a Rosedale, N.Y., native. ?Our Marines also clean during the air show. Last year, they removed roughly 33 tons of trash.?
Operations and the Self-Help Center work day and night ensuring the air station is clean and ready for the big event. During the air show, they continue working up to 20 hours per day to keep the flight line clean from trash and debris.?
?It?s a job that we do,? said Jones. ?It?s not always glorious but without support Marines, the air show couldn?t go off without a hitch.?