Helicopters will take to the skies and Marines will train in parks around Yuma and Brawley during biannual Weapons and Tactics Instructors course.
WTI is a time when Marine Corps aviators conduct world class training.
The history of WTI can be traced back to the 1950’s when the Marine Corps introduced special weapons training.
Over the course of 7 weeks WTI teaches Marine Corps aviators how to deploy their aircraft weapons systems in a total threat environment.
In addition, it involves all aspects of Marine Corps aviation and air assets of various other branches of service.
“MAWTS-1 is the crown of aviation,” said Col. Bradford Gering, MAWTS-1 Commanding Officer.
There are several aspects to WTI, including air to air combat exercises, helicopter air to air refueling, the noncombatant evacuation operation and much more.
The Weapons and Tactics Instructors train aviation personnel in the weapons system for operations in total threat environment in coordination with ground and other aviation units.
The Marine Corps commissioned Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 to take the reins over WTI.
MAWTS-1 is a unique squadron in that Marine aviators are asked to join based upon their interpersonal skills, high level of knowledge, experience and instructing Marine Corps aviation tactics.
This allows MAWTS-1 to pass a high level of aviation excellence on to the 300 or so graduates the squadron produces each year.
These members are what make up WTI and what continue Yuma’s legacy of excellence.