- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

U.S. Marines have stormed Los Angeles — for urban combat training.

Parts of Los Angeles have been blocked off since Dec. 5 so the Marine Corps could better prepare its men and women for the kind of scenarios they can expect to encounter while deployed overseas. The training will take place through Dec. 16.

“Realistic urban training allows the Marines and sailors of the 15th [Marine Expeditionary Unit] to exercise vital skills to better prepare them for what they may face while forward deployed,” Col. Vance L. Cryer, the 15th MEU’s commanding officer, told Marine Corps Times. “Bringing together the entire Marine Air-Ground Task Force in an exercise such as this one allows us quality, realistic training that is essential for unit readiness.”

Capt. Brian Block, spokesman for the 15th MEU, which operates out of Camp Pendleton, told the Los Angeles Times that local police departments were informed of the training, but that a specific time and place wasn’t released to the public in order to deter crowds from gathering.

“The last thing we want is for people to see Marines in Ospreys and think that World War III has begun,” Capt. Block told the newspaper.

The Marines have conducted similar training exercises since 1985 in cities such as Atlanta, Memphis, New York, San Francisco and Phoenix, the Times reported.

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