Yuma Sun - Visiting In Yuma - - NEWS -

The mil­i­tary es­tab­lished it­self in Yuma in 1864 when the U.S.Army opened the Yuma Quar­ter­mas­ter De­pot to sup­ply all the area Army posts with cloth­ing, food, am­mu­ni­tion and other goods. Goods were brought into Yuma by steam­boat and shipped out on 20-mule teams.

A cen­tury and a half later,Yuma is the home of two ma­jor mil­i­tary bases,the Army’s Yuma Prov­ing Ground (YPG) and Ma­rine Corps Air Sta­tion (MCAS) Yuma. To­day,the mil­i­tary rep­re­sents one of the three pil­lars of the area’s econ­omy,along with agri­cul­ture and tourism.

Yuma County takes pride in its re­la­tion­ship with MCAS andYPG.While their mis­sion is to pro­tect all of our coun­try, they also take time to be a part of our daily lives.This re­la­tion­ship has led many of the vis­it­ing sol­diers and Marines to move here when their term of ser­vice is over.They bring a per­spec­tive that has con­trib­uted to our com­mu­nity’s growth and pros­per­ity.

We in­vite you to honor our Armed Forces with vis­its to these lo­ca­tions:


291 S. Gila St.

This park is a tribute to all mil­i­tary veter­ans from all branches of ser­vice. Spon­sored by the Mil­i­tary Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of the Yuma County Cham­ber of Com­merce, the park is un­re­stricted and can be en­joyed any time.


Es­tab­lished in 1943, at the height of World War II, the fa­cil­ity — then called Camp La­guna — was used to test com­bat bridges on the Colorado River and as a train­ing site for in­fantry and mech­a­nized troops sent to com­bat. In 1951, the Yuma Test Sta­tion of the U.S. Sixth Army was opened on the site. In 1962, the base was turned over to the U.S. Army Ma­te­rial Com­mand and des­ig­nated Yuma Prov­ing Ground.

To­day YPG tests weapons sys­tems, ve­hi­cles, and other mil­i­tary equip­ment prior to go­ing to the bat­tle­field, but it also hosts a num­ber of train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing pre-de­ploy­ment train­ing for Marines and Spe­cial Forces twice a year.

Lo­cated on High­way 95, 25 miles north of Yuma, the fa­cil­ity en­com­passes 1,300 square miles of desert ter­rain. Only around 500 armed forces are sta­tioned and re­side on the base, but 2,300 di­rect and con­tract em­ploy­ees make YPG one of Yuma’s largest em­ploy­ers.

In a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship,YPG is also the home to Gen­eral

Mo­tors Desert

Prov­ing Ground.

In the agree­ment, GM has leased a 2,400-acre site from the gov­ern­ment on which sev­eral test roads and sup­port fa­cil­i­ties have been built. The test roads in­clude:

• Mile Cir­cle Track (three lanes)

• 1.4-mile Straight Track (two to three lanes)

• 3.1-mile Ride Road

(two to four lanes)

• In­te­rior Noise Road

The fa­cil­i­ties in­clude:

• 24-acre Build­ing Cam­pus

• 98,000-squarefeet of build­ing area for of­fices, 40 hoist garage, elec­tronic/in­stru­men­ta­tion lab,align­ment/tire fa­cil­i­ties, trans­mis­sion build room,parts and ware­house.

Both the Army and GM have ac­cess to the road sys­tem.Gen­eral Mo­tors em­ploys about 75 en­gi­neers,tech­ni­cians,and sup­port staff.

PUB­LIC AC­CESS YPG Vis­i­tor Con­trol Cen­ter

Be­fore en­ter­ing YPG, vis­i­tors must check in at the Vis­i­tor Con­trol Cen­ter, where they will un­dergo a back­ground check.This re­quire­ment does not ap­ply to re­tired mil­i­tary veter­ans or to re­tired civil­ian em­ploy­ees of the Depart­ment of De­fense, who can pro­ceed to the YPG Main Gate.


High­way 95 – north of Yuma 928-328-3394­ri­son Hours: 10-4 / Tues­day-Fri­day - Free The YPG Her­itage Cen­ter is open to the pub­lic,where vis­i­tors learn about the prov­ing grounds and the Army’s his­tory. There is no charge for vis­it­ing the cen­ter, which has proved to be a very pop­u­lar at­trac­tion.Nu­mer­ous tours of the prov­ing ground for schools and other groups are of­fered through­out the year by the Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fice.


Av­enue 3E south of 32nd Street 928-269-2275 928-269-5590

The busiest air sta­tion in the Ma­rine Corps, MCAS Yuma is the home of the fol­low­ing Ma­rine Corps Units:

• Har­rier Squadrons (VMA-211,214,311 and 513)

• Ma­rine Avi­a­tion Weapons and Tac­ti­cal Squadron -1 (MATS-1)

• Com­bat Lo­gis­tics Com­pany -16 (CLC16)

• Ma­rine Air Con­trol Squadron -1 (MCAS-1)

• Ma­rine Avi­a­tion Lo­gis­tics Squadron -13 (MALS-13)

• Ma­rine Wing Sup­port Squadron -371 (MWSS-371)

• Ma­rine Fighter Train­ing Squadron – 401 (VMFT-401)

• F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (VMFA-121) The base is lo­cated on five square miles just off Av­enue 3E at 32nd Street. It is cen­tered on a main run­way of 13,300 feet – slightly over 2 ½ miles uti­liz­ing enough con­crete for 37 miles of two-lane high­way. Ad­di­tion­ally, the base fea­tures the Tac­ti­cal Air­crew Com­bat Train­ing Sys­tem, which is de­signed to pro­vide re­al­is­tic air-to-air com­bat train­ing with elec­tron­i­cally sim­u­lated weapons.

The base per­son­nel have ac­cess to 2.8 mil­lion acres of train­ing ranges – the

Barry M. Gold­wa­ter range.

Over 80 per­cent of the

Corps’ air-to-ground avi­a­tion train­ing is sup­ported at MCAS Yuma.

In­cluded in the train­ing pro­gram is the Weapons and Tac­tics In­struc­tor (WTI) pro­gram. Con­ducted twice an­nu­ally — in the spring and fall — the three-week course al­lows pilots, weapons sys­tems op­er­a­tors, ground com­bat and com­bat sup­port ser­vice of­fi­cers through­out the Ma­rine Corps to im­prove bat­tle­field knowl­edge and ex­per­tise.

More than 5,000 Marines and sailors are sta­tioned at MCAS Yuma, of whom about 1,000 are de­ployed overseas.

The base em­ploys ap­prox­i­mately 1,300 civil­ians. PUB­LIC


To gain ac­cess to the

Ma­rine Corps Air

Sta­tion, all vis­i­tors must re­port to the Pass and Reg­is­tra­tion Of­fice, Build­ing 952, which is lo­cated next to the main gate.Vis­i­tors must have a valid ID, and they must be spon­sored by cur­rent mil­i­tary ID card hold­ers,such as ac­tive-duty,re­serve or re­tired mil­i­tary per­son­nel,or de­pen­dents of mil­i­tary per­sonal.Spon­sors must ac­com­pany vis­i­tors through­out their vis­its to the base.

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