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SPECIAL REPORT: Pieces of the puzzle

13 On Your Side’s Arlette Yousif brings us an inside look at different careers in the military

Nearly 4,500 service members are stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (MCAS), all with various jobs, some you wouldn’t usually consider when you think of the military.

For almost any civilian job, there are military jobs with similar responsibilities.

A physical trainer in the military, for example, not only trains service members, but also plans entire courses tailored to the needs of specific units.

“The idea and the intent behind it is to build programs that are based off of mission essential tasks. That's just building programs for them. It's going through technique and watching movement standard and making sure that they're doing it safely,” says MCAS Yuma HHS Force Fitness Instructor Gunnery Sgt. Eric Jude.

Gunnery Sgt. Jude tailors exercises to the needs of each military member.

Currently, he is responsible for about 550 Marines.

“From nutrition and hydration techniques to the actual building of programs to increase strength and endurance,” explains Gunnery Sgt. Jude.

Exposure to the elements plays a big role in activities, especially during yuma’s heat.

“We’ll take the in the mornings when it’s a little cooler and then slowly increase that time domain that they’re outside,” says Gunnery Sgt. Jude.

And when it’s too hot to handle…

“What we do is, we offset by doing a lot of things inside. We utilize the interior of the gym vice being out here in the exterior," Gunnery Sgt. Jude continues.

This is where physical training and meteorology collide.

“For Yuma specifically, we assist in disseminating flag conditions,” says MCAS Yuma Meteorological Analyst Forecaster Sgt. Ashton Neafsey.

Green, yellow, red, and black flag conditions are how temperatures are categorized and outdoor activities are determined.

“Each flag condition has a standard operating procedure for how people are allowed to conduct themselves when working outside, for example, green flag, you're not allowed to conduct in strenuous activities for a certain amount of time. Black flag is essentially shut down of all operations except for essential operations,” explains Sgt. Ashton Neafsey.

As a Meteorologist, Sgt. Neafsey also works hand-in-hand with air traffic control and pilots.

“As they're taking off, what the conditions are gonna be upon takeoff, what the winds visibility and ceilings are gonna be at ceilings are. As well as what the turbulence and icing and any weather impacts in their flight is going be,” says Sgt. Neafsey.

And then there’s planning for the air station.

“Planning is more of what you would see on the news. It's what we brief to commanders when it's going to rain, what the impacts are going to be to a person on the ground on the air station,” Sgt. Neafsey continues.

Sgt. Neafsey says every individual airfield in the United States has to have an observation station.

“Every air station around the world has the same standard of observations. So if you're qualified to make observations here, then you're essentially qualified to make observations anywhere. As far as the forecasting part, some air fields have higher requirements,” explains Sgt. Neafsey.

Article Topic Follows: News

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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film.

You can reach out to Arlette for at


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