Neighbors fear unknown at Eagle Rock Training Center - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Neighbors fear unknown at Eagle Rock Training Center

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WARNER SPRINGS, Calif. (CBS 8) - We are learning more about a secret military training camp operating on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation east of Warner Springs.

Neighbors want to know what's going on at the Eagle Rock Training Center because they are concerned about fire danger and traffic.

There's no public access to the site at the end of Camino San Ignacio where vehicles are met with no trespassing signs.

On Tuesday, News 8 spotted a white Ford truck entering the property. The vehicle was registered to an El Cajon company named Lexicon Consulting, Inc.

According its web site, Lexicon specializes in "language, cultural, and military training" for troops in advance of their deployment into Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reached by telephone, a Lexicon representative told News 8 they do not speak with the media.

At the Indian reservation entrance, News 8 was also met by the Los Coyotes police.

Police Chief David Sossaman told News 8 that the Eagle Rock Training Center has been operating under contract with the Los Coyotes tribal council for about a year and a half.

"It's rifle and pistol fire on the ranges and from what I understand the ranges are made to the specs for law enforcement and the military," Chief Sossaman said during a roadside interview.

Chopper 8 video recorded Friday revealed two shooting ranges, several cargo containers, as well as military vehicles, troops and tents camped out at the Eagle Rock site.

Chief Sossaman said the reservation's fire department supervises all military training at Eagle Rock.

"Brush has been cleared. There's no brush on the ranges and there's a fire apparatus back there," Sossaman said.

The training center was originally the brainchild of Brian Bonfiglio, former vice president at Blackwater USA.

The training center's current operator, Sean Roach, told News 8 that Eagle Rock has no ties whatsoever to Blackwater, a military contractor which now goes by the name Xe Services.

Roach is out of the country and declined to be interviewed at length but said he is well aware of community concerns about Eagle Rock.

"My concerns are fire. The main concern is fire," said neighbor Norman Fletcher.

A small brush fire broke out at the Eagle Rock site last week.

"When we get dry up here, we're talking about zero percent humidity," Fletcher said. "You can drop anything on the ground that's hot and anything could happen."

Fletcher said he is looking forward to a more open dialog between neighbors and the Eagle Rock team to try and resolve public safety concerns.

"When you try to do something secretly, nobody gets anything out of it," Fletcher said. "So all the rumors fly and it makes it even worse."

On Tuesday afternoon, News 8 received an email from Eagle Rock's operator Sean Roach. He invited our cameras inside the training center for a private tour next week, along with several congressional leaders, military personnel, and law enforcement officers.

The event is not open to the public.

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