| Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 History
The origin of Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 and its predecessors dates back to 1947. At various times in its history It has been VMT-1, VMT-203 and now VMAT-203. VMT-1 began the evolution in 1947 as an independent squadron and shortly thereafter became part of MTG-20. Subsequent evolutions were as a unit of Force Aviation Headquarters Group until 1958, at which time VMT-1 VMT-1 again became a separate squadron of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, equipped with the TF-9J "Cougar", and the T-33 "Shooting Star", and conducted training in swept wing refresher/ transition, instrument procedures, and instrument ground school.
On 2 July 1967, after exactly nine years of independent training, VMT-1 received its first TA-4F "SkyHawk" and began its transition to the new aircraft. The last F-9 was transferred in December of that year.
In December also, the squadron colors of VMT-1 were retired and VMAT-203 was activated in its place as the nucleus of an new marine Training Group, Marine combat Crew readiness Training Group 20, which was activated on 1 April 1968.
In May of 1972, the squadron was re-designated VMAT-203. With a new mix of aircraft, the A-4M, and TA-4J, the squadron was tasked to train replacement aircrews to Fleet Marine Force duty.
The arrival of V/STOL aviation instituted another era for VMAT-203. The squadron's A-4 "SkyHawks" were retired and VMAT-203 became the AV-8A/C training squadron as part of Marine Aircraft Group 32. In December 1983, the first AV-8B Harrier II was delivered, and until March 1985, VMAT-203 was assigned the dual missions of training both AV-8A/C pilot and AV-8B replacement aircrews. Having trained its last AV-8A/C pilot in March 1985, VMAT-203's exclusive mission then became the training of AV-8B aircrews and maintenance personnel.
During the past three years, VMAT-203 has trained more than 130 AV-8B pilots and 2000 AV-8B maintenance personnel. This includes the total conversion of the AV-8A/C a11 attack force and the conversion of a 11 A 4-M squadron's to the AV-8B. During that time period, the squadron has flown over 12,000 flight hours, participated in four deployments for instructor and student training and received the Commandant's Aviation Efficiency Award for 1986.