U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 (MWSS-274) refuel a CH-53E Super Stallion during Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 2-16, at Laguna Army Airfield, Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, Ariz., April 11, 2016.  This training was part of WTI, a seven week training event, hosted by MAWTS-1 cadre, which emphasizes operational integration of the six functions of Marine Corps aviation in support of a Marine Air Ground Task Force.  MAWTS-1 provides standardized advanced tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness and assists in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Anabel Abreu-Rodriguez MAWTS-1 COMCAM/ Released)

Business and civic leaders in Yuma have formed a community support group for the two military installations in southwestern Arizona — Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and Yuma Proving Ground.

The Yuma 50 held a gala kick-off dinner in May and hopes to gain the support of 300 or more community and civic leaders, businesses, organizations and citizens, according to a commentary by Yuma Proving Ground spokesman Chuck Wullenjohn in the Yuma Sun.

“Our purpose is to pursue issues that support our bases and oppose those that are detrimental, whatever they may be,” said Ken Rosevear, the new organization’s chairman. The community outreach and education organization can be expected to respond to threats such as sequestration and encroachment, Rosevear said.

The Yuma 50 will work collaboratively with the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, which supports Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson and Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista.

Rosevear believes the work being accomplished at the two Yuma facilities deserves support because of its importance to national security.

“The mission of the two bases, one for training and the other for testing, is critical to the military,” he said. “This is serious business and we don’t want the mission of either base to be interrupted.”