Supporting Major Undertakings at MCAS Yuma

Supporting Major Undertakings at MCAS Yuma

The Marine Corps Air Station Yuma AZ (MCAS Yuma) continues to add F-35B aircraft for pilot squadrons, becoming the vanguard of domestic use of the aircraft. MCAS Yuma was the first military base in the U.S. to have these aircraft and now have 29 F-35s on base, soon to be 36.

According to Maytag Aircraft Terminal Manager Greg Greer, three units each have 12 aircraft. They are building up so that all of the 36 will be F-35s.  He says, “Eventually all other units will transition to having only F-35s, with the exception of rotary-wing aircraft and training aircraft.” This growth will take a couple of years to be completed. The project started in November 2012 when VMFA-121 stood up with three F-35Bs and got the ball rolling.

Maytag Aircraft is responsible for fueling all of the F-35s in Yuma, along with other aircraft.

Greg and Assistant Terminal Manager Rob Gomez are also gearing up for April’s Weapons and Tactics Instructors course (WTI 2-20), run by the Marine Aviations Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) located at MCAS Yuma. MAWTS-1 hosts this biannual exercise for Marine fighter pilots. Other personnel join in from the Air Force, Navy, and foreign military from countries such as Belgium, England, Canada, and Australia.

Says Greer, “The main goal is to provide aircrew and Marines with proper training and evaluation to ensure exceptional combat readiness.”

Enlisted and support personnel also participate in the exercises and get some training.

Greer’s and Gomez’ work is to ensure that all of the planes have the fuel needed to fly the missions.  On average, they service over 160 aircraft and will pump 2.6 million gallons of fuel during the WTI.

There are smaller training exercises throughout the year that Maytag Aircraft must support with fuel, as well, according to Gomez.

David Nelson, President and COO of Maytag Aircraft stated, “Maytag has been supporting the Marines at MCAS Yuma since the ‘70s and is proud of the role we play in the success of the Marine Aviation and Tactics Squadron and the twice per year WTI exercise.”  Nelson also emphasized that, “Maytag and our dedicated Maytag Yuma team is excited to be supporting MCAS Yuma as the initial operating base for the F-35B.”

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