6:30 P.M (MST)
The scene is a beautiful Friday afternoon in Yuma, where Marines from across the country converged on Marine Corps Air Station Yuma for WTI training, or the Weapons and Tactics Instructor training course.
This year’s training scenario was meant to simulate a host country asking the American military for help as part of a humanitarian assistance mission.
After taking off from MCAS in a UH-1 Yankee Huey, our first stop was at Trinity Christian Center, where troops were using the grounds as a field medical camp.
Then it was off to Yuma Regional Medical Center, which played an expanded role in this year’s training, serving as a medical center where severely wounded civilians and service members would be taken during real humanitarian crisis.
Our third stop took us to the outskirts of Yuma, as marines were waiting to load supplies on to a CH-53 Super Stallion, the largest and heaviest helicopter in the military.
Those essential supplies then followed us to a simulated refugee camp, at Kiwanis Park, where a slew of military security met us as we touched down.
This is the last WTI exercise of 2013.
The next series of training will not take place until early next year.