Celebrating “60 Years of MCAS Yuma”: The 2019 Yuma Airshow
Story by Sgt Isaac Martinez on 03/13/2019
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. (March 9, 2019) — The familiar sound of an F-35B flying through the air aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma echoes along the flight line, but today the sound incited the cheers and applause from over 20,000 spectators during the 57th Annual Yuma Airshow, March 9.
This year, 2019, marked the special celebration of 60 years of MCAS Yuma. Originally Vincent Air Force Base, it was transferred from the Air Force to the Navy, and finally from the Navy to the Marine Corps in 1959. The Marine Corps’ use of the base resulted in its re-designation to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.’
Boasting excellent year-round flying conditions, thousands of acres of training ranges, and the only Marine Corps Search and Rescue (SAR) unit, MCAS Yuma has a lot to offer to the Marine Corps.
Additionally, with MCAS Yuma being the busiest air station in the Marine Corps, much was celebrated. During the 2019 Yuma Airshow MCAS Yuma personnel, visitors from the local community and guests from around the world all celebrated the past, present and future of aviation.
This year, MCAS Yuma hosted a two-day event. March 8, the first day, marked the return of the Twilight Show, which is a condensed version of the 7 hour long airshow and features a firework finale. The Twilight Show gave viewers a taste of what to expect the next day during the full-length airshow.
The show included performers like the Shockwave Jet Truck, the Yellow Thunder T-6’s, and the Southern California Commemorative Air Force.
“I live near the air station and every year I make sure to come to the air show and the twilight show if it’s offered,” said Mary Espinosa, a supportive citizen of the local community. “I love seeing the jet truck, and feeling the heat as it zooms past.”
Before the official start of the 2019 Yuma Airshow, performers from the local community led the festivities. The Kofa High School Band, Kofa Folkloric Dancers, and San Luis Mariachi Band performed exciting music/ dance that thrilled the crowds.
Shortly after, for the first time ever, the Marine Corps’ only mounted color guard from Marine Corps Base Barstow, Calif. posted the colors during the National Anthem and made airshow history.
Upon the completion of the national anthem, the commanding officer of MCAS Yuma, Col. David A. Suggs, gave his remarks, welcoming the Yuma community and its visiting guests, and promptly inviting the start of the airshow.
Several demonstrations that boasted the air station’s aircraft and aerial ferocity ensued. The AV-8B Harrier II, F-35B Lightning II, and MV-22B Osprey, among others, wowed the crowd and were heavily applauded.
Visiting performers, like the Shockwave Jet Truck, A-10 demo team, Yellow Thunder, and Ace Maker Airshows offered guests the chance to see exciting aerial and ground performances and demonstrations that were not Marine Corps specific.
“I personally enjoyed the air station’s Osprey demo, it just kept spinning around in circles which was really awesome to see,” said Joe Miller, a first-time Yuma Airshow spectator. “I also really enjoyed the re-enactment of Pearl Harbor, it was like being in the middle of the action.”
All in all, spectators got the best of both worlds at the 2019 Yuma Airshow, witnessing both past and present aircraft in action, and joining the air station in the celebration of 60 years of aviation.