One day a month in December, January & February, Marine Air Station Yuma, gives tours to the general pubic. Today we took the tour, along with about 125 others. One of the Squadrons here is getting the new F-35 Fighter Jet. Some are already here, so we were hoping to get a glimpse of one. Unfortunately, we didn’t see one, BUT we did see quite a bit of other neat things. There will be an F-35 on the ground and one also in the air for the Yuma air show on March 15, 2014.
The tour starts with a 1/2 hours orientation to the station followed by a 1/2 hour with the Station Commander Colonel Robert C. Kuckuk. The Colonel was an excellent speaker and filled the time answering many questions, not only with a lot of humour and personal antecdotes, but also with a great deal of tact when it came to questions on the new F-35 fighter jet.
We then boarded buses to take us on our tour of the Base. First stop was the Flight Line. Here there were various exhibits with Marines to answer questions and provide information.
Below is a F-5 fighter Jet, used in training. This were first built in the 1970’s.
Above is a Harrier Jet. Both the F-5, and the Harrier above, were in the air flying yesterday. I was impressed by that fact as at first I thought they may be just for the tourists.
The next exhibit we saw was Bomb disposal and remote controlled devices used in Bomb or terrorist detection and control.
The following image is the last exhibit we saw on the Flight line. It is a Rolls Royce Engine from a Harrier Jet that was just rebuilt. They are torn down and built up again every 1000 hrs of flying time. Cost. $ 4 million each.
Next up, back on the buses to the Obstacle course. Here we saw Marines demonstrating how they do the obstacle course along with some other training exercises they do, followed be a short Martial Arts / Hand combat demonstration by some very tough looking Marines.
The last portion of the tour was the K-9 unit, attached to the Marine Military Police. After a 1/2 hour orientation and question / answer period we saw the dogs perform obedience training and attack training. This was a very enjoyable part of the tour.
And this concludes the tour. Many thanks to the Colonel Kuckuk, and the rest of his very professional Marines, for a very nice tour and gracious hospitality.