YPG museum future in jeopardy

YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma Proving Ground Museum may be on the chopping block as the Army Center of Military History Director is visiting military museums across the U.S.

The Army right now has over 50 museums at bases throughout the country and there’s a re-organization going on.

In the near future they’re all going to report directly to the Army Center of Military History. They’ll be taking a look at all the museums to see if some can be closed or consolidated. Chuck Wullenjohn, PIO with U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, said with a rich Army history in Yuma, he’d hate to see the museum go.

“The Yuma Proving Ground is the Army today in Yuma, so the heritage is number one. Secondly, we have a superb museum here that’s very much integrated in the outside community and I think that is a bond that I would really like to see keep going,” Wullenjohn said.

Executive Director of the Army Center of Military History, Charles Bowery, toured the museums and YPG on Thursday to get a closer look at everything and learn about YPG’s Heritage Center Museum and it’s interaction with the Yuma community.

Bowery said, “This is my first visit to the area. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the land and learning about the ways that the Yuma community is embedded in this community.”

He mentions how impressed he was with YPG’s museum.

“This museum in particular is outstanding in a way that Bill, the Museum Director uses artifacts, photographs, he uses personal stories that people who have been assigned here over the years. Ways to tell the story of how the proving ground over the years,” said Charles.

Bowery says his job is to help the Army decide on museums that don’t provide value for the military branch.

“When I talk about value I talk about helping the public understand what it does and being good resource dollars of budgets,” said Bowery.

He adds, “We had many community leaders here and the “Yuma 50″ who support the different military installations here. And it was nice to talk to them about the community and why the museums here and what they do.”

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