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Operation Hit the Beach '97

NAS PENSACOLA, FL -- Four hundred U. S. Marines from Aviation Maintenance Squadron One (AMS-1) stormed ashore at Pensacola Beach on Saturday, November 15, 1997 and conducted a cleanup of beach and surrounding areas. The cleanup project, dubbed "Operation Hit the Beach '97," was the inaugural event in what has become an ongoing community involvement effort by the Squadron, a campaign known as "Corps Commitment."

The Marines, organized in eight platoons, gathered in the early morning hours of the 15th and moved to the NAS Pensacola Old Navy Yard pier. There, they mounted U. S. Navy landing craft (boats) and moved to the Quietwater Beach pier on Pensacola Beach where they were put ashore. They moved quickly to staging areas then dispersed smartly to three main beach areas on the sound side and on the gulf side. The Marines picked up every scrap of paper, cigarette butt, aluminum can and anything else that looked like trash from the water's edge, through the parking lots, to the road from Morgan Park to Flounder's Restaurant on the sound side and from the Holiday Inn to Chan's Restaurant on the gulf side in the Operation that lasted a brisk 90 minutes.

Once they were finished, the Marines hustled back to their landing craft and returned to NAS Pensacola where they were welcomed to a feast of grilled hotdogs and soft drinks.

The Squadron plans to return to the Beach in May 16, 1998 for Hit the Beach II and again, in the early Fall in a continuing effort to maintain the beauty of this paradise where many of the Squadron's Marines spend their liberty.

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