YUMA COUNTY, Ariz. – Since 1978 the United States Marine Corps has held the Weapon and Tactics Instructor Course, which marine officials say is a unique training course for the top 10% of marines. It is held twice a year and is currently underway in Yuma County, it started on September 15th and will continue through October 27th. The course is not just reserved for marines other branches of the military, as well as friendly foreign nations, send troops and pilots to attend the course. It is taught by Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics 1.
The Marine Corps provided us video from some of the training operations that took place in Yodaville, an hour east of Yuma, on October 2nd and 3rd of 2015. As seen in the video Marines get specialized in various combat and humanitarian operations from Air Support in an urban environment, to vehicle lifts and helicopter operations among many other training courses to prepare them for what they may experience over seas in combat.
Marine officials say that the marines that take part in WTI are already highly skilled and attend to become further specialized. Officials say it also involves more than 200 instructors, 91 aircraft and more than 4,000 personnel, including a small number of troops from Britain, Australia and Canada. It runs for 7 weeks. Officials say the first three weeks is of classroom instruction where they teach the capabilities of Marine Corps aviation down to focusing on the particular aircraft a Marine student flies. Officials say WTI curriculum is constantly being updated to include any newly developed aircraft, updated weapons and technology and new methods.
We spoke to Russell McCloud, Yuma County Supervisor District 2, that says WTI is an honor to have in Yuma, “It’s great that they come here and practice and train, we love having them in the community and love having the military here period.” McCloud also goes on to say that the sound of military activity you may hear in your neighborhood is the sound of freedom and something to be proud of.