Some 1,000 Marines have landed for a training mission in Djibouti just weeks after helping evacuate U.S. citizens from the fighting in Lebanon.

According to officials from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the Marines have landed in Djibouti by both helicopter and air-cushioned landing craft from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima and the amphibious transport dock USS Nashville. The Marines will spend several days firing all manner of weapons at desert training ranges.

“We’ll take every opportunity we can to sharpen our tactical skills,” Col. Ron Johnson, the MEU commander, said in a news release. “Preparation for combat is continuous, and we want to be at peak proficiency if and when we get the nod.”

Most of the Marines taking part in the training are from Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.

“Joined by leathernecks from the MEU’s other elements, the Marines will fire the gamut of individual and crew-served weapons in their inventory, from small arms to heavy machine guns to mortars. Additionally, pilots and crew from the MEU’s aviation combat element will fire a variety of precision-guided munitions, honing their skills in providing close-air and deep-strike support,” the news release read.

The training in Djibouti is the first time the Marines have been able to train on land since mid-July, when the MEU was pulled from a training mission in Jordan to help in Lebanon.

Djibouti is home to Camp Lemonier and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, a force of about 1,500 troops on an anti-terror mission.

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