Command Biographies
VMA-223 Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Phillip T. Ash

Lieutenant Colonel Phillip T. Ash, is a native of Texas.  He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in May of 2003.  From June 2003 to January 2004, he attended The Basic School in Quantico Virginia for Marine Officer training. Upon graduating, he began basic flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida followed by primary flight training in T-34 aircraft in Corpus Christi, TX.  In October of 2004, he reported to Training Squadron 21 for advanced flight training in T-45s and was designated a Naval Aviator at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas in August 2005.

First Lieutenant Ash was subsequently assigned to “The Hawks” of Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina in October 2005 for operational training in the AV-8B Harrier. He competed his training in VMAT-203 in June of 2007.  

In August 2007, Captain Ash was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 231 at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina where he has held positions as the Current and Future Operations Officer and the Airframes OIC.  In November of 2009, Captain Ash deployed with VMA-231 to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  In preparation for his next assignment, Captain Ash completed Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) school in Little Creek, VA while with VMA-231.

In February of 2011, Captain Ash reported to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment for duties as a Forward Air Controller / Battalion Air Officer.  Captain Ash deployed in July of 2011 to the Upper Sangin Valley / Kajaki, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  

In April of 2012, Captain Ash returned to Marine Attack Squadron 231 and assumed the duties as the Quality Assurance Officer.  In September of 2012, Captain Ash deployed to Bastion, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  After returning from the deployment in 2013, Captain Ash attended and graduated from the MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 1-14.  In December of 2013, he was promoted to Major and subsequently assigned as the VMA-231 Operations Officer.  Major Ash deployed as the Operations Officer in November of 2014 in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit/Westpac Unit Deployment Program operating in Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines, and Hawaii.  

In 2015, Major Ash was ordered to instructor duty at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1), in Yuma, AZ.  While at MAWTS-1 he served as an AV-8B instructor, the Assistant Operations Officer, and as the TACAIR department head.  

In 2018, Major Ash was ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps, Aviation for duty as APW-22, AV-8B Coordinator.  During this tour Major Ash was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and selected to Command VMA-223.

Marine Aircraft Group 14