YUMA, Ariz. - As we conclude Military Week, News 11 looks at how YPG prepares for battle in all types of weather and how it has changed since the 9/11 attacks.
The Yuma Proving Ground has been operating continuously since 1951 after it took a brief break before the Korean War. Since then, it has served our country as one of the leading Army test stations.
“Prior to 9/11 the typical year at YPG had between 1.3 and 1.5 million direct labor hours,” said Public Affairs specialist at YPG, Mark Schauer.
In the years immediately following 9/11 YPG's workload increased dramatically, in fact it more than doubled.
“After 9/11 it grew to 2.8 million direct labor hours," he said. "But, for the last eight fiscal years YPG has been the busiest of the army's six test centers," he added.
During our first insurgencies in Iraq, YPG was doing rapid testing of new technologies and armored vehicles.
“Armored up versions of the Stryker Combat vehicle and Bradley Fighting vehicle and had blast diffusing V shape halls and that effort continues today with the Joint Light Tactical vehicle being tested at YPG as we speak,” he said.
“We test virtually everything in the ground test arsenal," he added. "If a soldier touches it, drives it, shoots it, wears it, it probably came to YPG at some point or another in its development cycle.”
Most people don't know that YPG owns all of the other extreme weather testing facilities in the Army.
“For a hot desert environment obviously we do our testing at Yuma Test Center, for cold regions testing we do it at Cold Regions Test Center which is a tenant unit in Alaska … as jungle testing is concerned it’s done by Tropical Regions Test Center which is based here in Yuma but it does testing in Panama, Surinam, occasionally Australia, occasionally Hawaii and in years past Honduras,” he said.
YPG makes it so that the war fighter is prepared with the right equipment for all types of weather situations.
We are also having a military week contest for military families. Enter to win a family four pass to the Animals in Action tour at the San Diego Zoo. Click here for more information!