Marine Transport Squadron Belle Chasse, a Marine Corps reserve squadron, is composed of active-duty, active Reserve and selected Marine Corps Reserve personnel. It was originally established in 1985 aboard NAS New Orleans, La., as Marine Aircraft Support Detachment Belle Chasse, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. The unit was redesignated as VMR Belle Chasse on Oct. 1, 2004. The mission of VMR Belle Chasse is to transport high-priority passengers and cargo to, within and between theaters of war.
To accomplish its assigned mission, the unit initially operated the UC-12B Huron light utility transport aircraft. In 1995, the CT-39G Sabreliner was added to the detachment until it was replaced by the UC-35C “Citation Ultra” aircraft in 1999. Most recently, the UC-12B was replaced in 2010 with the UC-12W, which brings enhanced capabilities in terms of range, payload, short field capability and aircraft survivability. VMR Belle Chasse was the first USMC/USN squadron to operate the UC-12W and serves as the NATOPS Model Manager for Fleet Marine Forces.
VMR Belle Chasse has deployed in support of multiple contingency, training exercise and Joint Task Force operations since it began operations in 1985. Additionally, since 2003, it has mobilized and deployed four different UC-35 detachments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation New Dawn and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. Since receiving the UC-12W, it has deployed three times in support of OEF to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
The squadron currently deploys a UC-12W detachment in support of SPMAGTF-CR-AF every year. When not deployed, VMR Belle Chasse receives operational tasking from the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing as well as the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center, the airlift branch of the U.S. Transportation Command. This ensures the squadron is trained and ready to complete its wartime mission in support of the Marine Air Ground Task Force or Marine Corps Service Component Commander.