THE MILITARY IN YUMA
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:
ARMED FORCES PARK
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.
U.S. ARMY YUMA PROVING GROUND (YPG)
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
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.
YUMA PROVING GROUND HERITAGE CENTER
Highway 95 – north of Yuma 928-328-3394 http://www.yuma.army.mil/garrison 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.
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION (MCAS) YUMA
Avenue 3E south of 32nd Street 928-269-2275 928-269-5590 www.yuma.usmc.mil/
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.