Marines practice on Calif. oil platforms

April 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM
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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., April 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. Marine Corps unit will rehearse raids on offshore oil platforms during exercises that begin in California next week, the Corps said Friday.

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Pendleton will be training along the central California coast April 15-21 in preparation for deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East later this year.

The 15th MEU will send its Maritime Raid Force and some of its aviation units to a Navy base in Ventura County where they will practice assaults on offshore platforms near Carpenteria. The exercises will also include "urban flying and navigation" by helicopter crews that could produce some noticeable aircraft noise.

The Marines said in a written statement they were taking steps to minimize any inconvenience to the folks in Ventura County but noted the exercises were critical to their upcoming deployment.

"This realistic training allows the MEU to operate as a complete Marine Air Ground Task Force in an urban environment," said Col. Scott Campbell, the unit's commanding officer. "The importance of an exercise such as this cannot be understated; our future success depends greatly upon the amount of practice repetitions we have during training exercises like this one."

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