Coronavirus pandemic forces early end to elite training program
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) The U.S. Marine Corps has announced it is suspending its Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Col. Steve Gillette, commanding officer of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1), released this statement about the decision:
"In an effort to preserve the safety of our troops during this time, Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 2-20 has concluded academics and the course has been suspended. All Marines attending and in support of the exercise will be in transit to their home duty stations. The priority is a safe return for each Marine in order to protect the force..."Statement from Col. Steve Gillette - MAWTS-1
A Marine was the first person to test positive for coronavirus in Yuma County. MCAS Yuma has more than a hundred other base personnel under precautionary quarantine. There has been no word of additional cases on base.
The Weapons and Tactics Instructors (WTI) course features seven weeks of intensive coursework and advanced aviation training to produce the next generation of instructors. Only the top pilots in the Marine Corps qualify for the program.