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Seeing military helicopters passing by? Marines are training over Southern California

A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, prepares for an external lift with a M777 155mm Howitzer in support of Exercise Summer Fury 20 at Chocolate Mountain Arial Gunnery Range, Calif., July 14, 2020.

SAMUEL RUIZ/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By ERIKA I. RITCHIE | The Orange County Register | Published: July 22, 2020

(Tribune News Service) — Marines with multiple squadrons — from Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Stations Miramar and Yuma — are training in the skies over Southern California.

Ospreys, combat helicopters, tactical fighters and heavy-lift helicopters are all part of the exercise, known as Summer Fury, and some have been seen the last several days in the skies over Orange County. More than 5,000 Marines are participating in the training.

Summer Fury, which began on July 14 and will run for three weeks, showcases the Marines’ ability to fight on the ground and in the air as one unit. During the training, Marines will be working on flight crew efficiency by building on longer flight hours and getting new qualifications. The exercise includes planners, aviation mechanics, airfield support personnel and pilots.

The training scenario will end with a long-range strike where pilots and Marines will train on refueling and rearming fixed-wing aircraft from an advanced base, such as an island or anywhere that can be used to land Osprey or Super Stallion helicopters, which in an actual deployment would help extend the range of an aircraft strike.

In a reimagining of the Marine Corp that started last year, the branch is focusing on being more nimble and able to deploy from locations around the world, even a ship or remote island in the ocean, to expand its capabilities.

“We must ensure our Marines remain operationally excellent in an environment characterized by change,” said Maj. Michael Stremer, operations officer with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. “This training provides an opportunity to refine our tactics, techniques and procedures for future conflicts.”

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