theallegiant.com / By David Bard / February 6, 2013
A news article was sent to me earlier this week. It appeared in the Beaufort Gazette. The article stated that later this week about 150 Marines and Navy personnel will hold realistic urban training in Jasper County, South Carolina.
This was one of many joint military-local law enforcement exercises that had come to my attention in less than one month. Held in cities across the U.S., they were becoming more common and more intense. But why? Why train in populated towns and cities where accidents could produce unnecessary casualties?
The Gazette further reported that the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will train within Ridgeland town limits. The times and exact locations for the training are not being announced, according to 2nd Lt. Gerard R. Farao.
A little background on the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU). It is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units. A MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 personnel. The MEU consists of four major parts: a command element, a ground combat element, an aviation combat element, and a logistics element. The 26th MEU was establishment in the early 1970s and has deployed extensively, and participated in numerous combat and contingency operations. The 26th MEU is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
I was once stationed at Camp Lejuene, NC. As a Navy Corpsman, I helped care for Marines. I tell you this because inevitably there will be those that assume I hold some anti-military motive. Quite the contrary. This writer is a Navy veteran, receiver of a Navy Commendation medal for lifesaving, Fleet Marine Force Expeditionary medal (2) and several letters of commendation – among other ribbons and medals. I also spent time at Camp Lejuene.
At no time during my time there were “realistic urban training” exercises conducted in towns and cities. This is a recent development.
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