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A Diamond in Yuma’s Crown

It is very hard to miss the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (MCAS) when one is in the area. After all, this air station covers five square miles of southeastern Yuma. Since 1928, this area was already being used for aviation. It began as a humble civilian airport.

During World War II, the airfield changed from a civilian airport into the Yuma Army Airfield. It was much after World War II when the place was passed on to the United States Navy. Ninety days after that, the base was renamed to MCAS Yuma as it was passed on to the United States Marine Corps.

Premier Aviation Training Base

MCAS Yuma is houses 4,000 active duty Marines and sailors. The Barry Goldwater Bombing Range is located nearby and is a total of 2.8 million acres. It is mostly used by the Marines, Army, and Air Force for aviation training and bombing ranges. In a year, a total of 14,000 Marines undergo training here. This air station facilitates 80% of the Marine Corps’ air-to-ground aviation training.

Tenant units are also based here like the Marine Aircraft Group 13, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401, Combat Logistics Company 16 and Marine Air Control Squadron.

“Harrier” Ville USA

The Marines have the unique AV8-C jet that can take off and land vertically. This “Harrier” is named after a bird that has a tendency to hover over a fixed spot. Yuma has had all 3 models of the Harrier located there. Now Yuma is the largest Harrier base in the world.

Local Weather Great for Flying

Yuma is one of the hottest places in Arizona. This region has a desert climate with extremely hot summers and warm winters. The Guinness Book of World Records says that this region is the sunniest place on earth.

Despite the heat, the climate in Yuma makes it excellent for year round flying. To many pilots, Yuma has superb flying weather. It usually is superb unless another rare weather phenomenon like Hurricane Nora or a tropical storm occurs.

Yuma Not All Desert

MCAS Yuma is located along the Colorado River. The Gila River also empties into the Colorado just before it passes by Yuma. Marines who are assigned to train or serve in this air station are lucky. The location makes it great for water sports, seasonal hunting and fishing. They have a lot of recreational activities to enjoy.

“Block parties” are held quarterly at the nearby mall. It is a great way for newly assigned personnel to meet the locals. They can see firsthand that locals are very supportive and friendly. A lot of other special events are also held from time to time.

Great Place to Live

Yuma is a great place to live according to Money Magazine. It is also an ideal place to learn more about American history and Native Americans. Anyone who decides to live here can always play golf in lush golf courses or engage in outdoor sports. Those who enjoy bird watching and fishing will have a great time here.

Three National Wildlife Refuges are located in Yuma. These have hiking trails which are also educational. There are signs along the trails that identify the different types of flora and fauna.

Many tourists also choose to visit the Yuma Territorial Prison State Park and Quartermaster Depot. Yuma has a lot of historical places and is perfect for a lot of outdoor activities. One will not regret living or visiting Yuma.

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