Military week: A look at YPG's unique history

History of YPG

YUMA, Ariz. - Whether or not you were able to attend the Yuma Proving Ground's 75th anniversary, there are still so many things most people don't realize about YPG.


This week is military week for News 11 and we start off by taking a look at YPG's unique history.


“The Army actually first came to Yuma way back in the 1850's so the Army’s been here for a long long time now and helped Yuma develop into what it is," public affairs officer for YPG, Chuck Wullenjohn said.


Yuma Proving Ground was originally called the Yuma Test Station.


“But as far as the Yuma Proving Ground, our beginning really came during World War II,” Wullenjohn said.


During World War II, the Yuma Test Station was built right on the banks of the Colorado River. The Army sought out Yuma because of one of its unusual resources.


“The Army thought that this was a great place to test bridges," Wullenjohn said. "That’s what brought the Army here, it wasn't the desert, it was the water," he said.


At the same time, the Army established Camp Laguna where 15,000 troops at a time were trained for WWII combat. Remnants of Camp Laguna can still be seen today at YPG.


Read News 11's full story on Camp Laguna here.


“The Yuma Test Station and the Camp Laguna sort of came together the years after the war and YPG developed from there,” he shared.


From there, the Yuma Proving Ground became the main test station for military equipment in the western United State.s 


“Everything that you see on television or in the movies that uses equipment from modern ground warfare was tested at YPG so that gives you an idea of the impact of what we do here,” he said.


Next, News 11 takes a closer look at the man responsible for bringing YPG to the Yuma area ... General George Patton.


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