Residents may notice Marines training at Southern California bases this week

Sgt. Jose Mendoza, a systems administrator with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, sights in with the M249 light machine gun during crew served weapons training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 3, 2015.


By ERIKA I. RITCHIE | The Orange County Register | Published: May 12, 2021

SANTA ANA, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — Marine infantry, logistics and aviation units will be training across Southern California bases this week in mock scenarios that include ship-to-shore attacks, tactical recovery of personnel and using small refueling bases.

Residents near bases will likely notice the activity.

The training — a final certification for units that will make up the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit — will be held at bases in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties. Training starts Tuesday, May 11, and is expected to end on Sunday, May 16. The bases help set a realistic geographic site for the mock scenarios, officials said.

Ospreys and CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters are expected to be visible in the skies over the Joint Forces Training Base — Los Alamitos. That could mean some extra noise for nearby communities as the aircraft take off and land, especially in the early morning or late evening hours. Military aircraft might also be seen over communities along the coast from Los Angeles to San Diego counties.

Aviation and ground units will also be training at the Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and in Blythe and the Marines will also train in mock scenarios at the Los Angeles Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center at the Port of Los Angeles.

There will be amphibious assaults from Navy ships off Camp Pendleton's beaches. Navy hovercrafts, called Landing Craft Air Cushions, might be seen from land along the 5 freeway.

The exercises replicate and prepare Marines for what they might face while on deployment with Navy ships.

A Marine Expeditionary Unit includes infantry troops, aviation squadrons and teams of engineers that help move the troops around. While on deployment, they are the 9-1-1 responders to any crisis and are often called upon to provide humanitarian aid, embassy reinforcement and recovery of downed personnel.

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