PVC made/mounted on velcro 4.0 inch-100mm
MARINE MEDIUM TILTROTOR SQUADRON 266 (VMM-266)
Established as Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 (HMM-266) on 26 Apr 1983 at MCAS New River, NC. In its first year, the squadron established a foundation that would make it the cold weather assault support experts for 2nd MAW. Over the course of the next six years, the squadron participated in fourteen exercises from the High Sierras of the Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) in Bridgeport, California to the arctic climes of northern Norway.
Following the invasion of Kuwait in Aug 1990, HMM-266 initially provided aircraft and personnel to other MAG-26 squadrons as they prepared for deployment. On 31 Dec 1990, HMM-266 became the first CH-46E squadron from II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) to deploy to Southwest Asia (SWA). On 4 Jan 1991, the squadron arrived in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, and provided assault support in the form of Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP), troop movement, casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), and re-supply missions. The squadron moved to Combat Outpost Lonesome Dove with the rest of MAG-26 for Operation Desert Storm and conducted combat support from this location until offensive operations ceased on 28 Feb 1991. In May, the Fighting Griffins were the last MAG-26 squadron to return to MCAS New River.
In 1992, while off the coast off Italy, the CH-46s of HMM-266 (Rein) made worldwide news. They provided heavy lift support when Mount Etna erupted and lava flow threatened to wipe out the town of Zafferana, Sicily.
In Febr-Mar 1994, the squadron supported Operation Continue Hope and Operation Quick Draw in Somalia. After successfully completing these operations, the Fighting Griffins proceeded to the Adriatic Sea in support of Operation Provide Promise and Operation Deny Flight. HMM-266 (Rein) returned to MCAS New River on 23 Jun 1994, and ten days later was recalled to deploy to the Caribbean in support of Operation Support Democracy in Haiti.
The squadron deployed in Nov 1998 and immediately detached three CH-46Es and its two UH-1Ns to conduct contingency operations off the coast of Albania concurrent with Operation Silver Knight.
In Mar 1999, the Fighting Griffins were designated the TRAP stand-by force in support of Operation Allied Force and Joint Task Force (JTF) Noble Anvil strike missions into Serbia. Upon arriving on station, the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) assigned the aviation combat element (ACE) AV-8Bs six excess combat strike sorties per day. The AV-8Bs flew their first combat sortie on Apr 14 with strike missions into Kosovo. A total of thirty four combat sorties and 65.3 combat hours were flown in support of Operation Allied Force/JTF Noble Anvil. In addition to AV-8B strike missions, two CH-46Es successfully extracted a Navy Special Warfare Team Personal Security Force from Petrovic, Macedonia.
In Feb 2004, the HMM-266 (Rein) boarded the USS Wasp and sailed east for the Mediterranean Sea. They passed through the Suez Canal and debarked in April to establish a base of operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan to participate in Operation Asbury Park. Operation Asbury Park was extended one month, and HMM-266 (Rein) ceased combat operations on Jul 10, returning home on 16 Sep 2004.
On 7 Aug 2005, the Fighting Griffins deployed to Al Asad, Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Fighting Griffins assumed the mission of medium lift assault support from HMM-264 at 0700HRS on 20 Aug 2005.
Marine Medium Helicopter 266 (HMM-266) deactivated on Jun 15, 2006. Redesignated Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (VMM-266) on 23 Mar 2007-.