July 19, 2012

Marine Corps Community Services provides for air station

Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano
Desert Warrior Staff

MCAS Yuma Marine Corps Community Services offers a variety of programs and services for Marines, sailors and their families to help ease the weight of deployments and everyday military life.

MCCS provides for the station the Semper Fit fitness program to family team building, counseling, personal finance and educational services for service members and their dependants. Also sponsored are the social organized events by the Single Marines Program and the Sonoran Pueblo.

MCCS is run by civilians and veterans.

“Anywhere between 425-500 employees help take care of Marines, sailors and their families. From retirees to one-tour veterans,” said MCCS Yuma director David Koopman.

MCCS employees work together in an effort to help better the lives of Yuma’s military community through social, recreational, and educational programs.

MCCS is funded through corporate sponsorships, advertising and the Department of Defense. If there is money left over from overseas contingency operations, a request for funding is submitted through the Department of Defense and either granted or denied. Recently, a request for new sports fields for youth sports was approved, said Koopman.

“Somebody offers us money to improve our program, I’ll be first in line,” added Koopman.

How MCCS selects its projects is determined not only by the organization itself, but by the input provided by Marines themselves.

“We go find what people want, what Marine Corps Headquarters is pushing down, and what the command wants,” said Koopman.

Most services are split between two categories in accordance with the Department of Defense standards. Categories A services have to do with fitness and have a higher priority when it comes to funding. Category B services are recreational and can generate some revenue.

The economy affects MCCS. Budgets determine the future of Category B services. The pool, for example, might have to raise fees in order to provide the same level of enjoyment for station patrons.

“Next year, the decision won’t be whether or not to charge, but how many hours to keep the door open,” said Koopman.

For additional information, visit: www.mccsyuma.org.

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