Marines conducting exercise in downtown Los Angeles - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Marines conducting exercise in downtown Los Angeles

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CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) - Starting Friday, Marines and sailors from Camp Pendleton will train at several locations in and around downtown Los Angeles in preparation for a deployment.

Members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit will train in Los Angeles until Dec. 16, according to Pendleton's public affairs office. 

The troops are headed to the Western Pacific and Middle East in the spring. 

"For safety and security reasons, specific locations within Los Angeles will be withheld until after the training occurs," officials said, adding that all aspects of the training have been coordinated with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Though military officials did not elaborate, they said downtown area residents may hear helicopters or other aircraft, and that Pendleton's entire Marine Air-Ground Task Force would be involved.

The task force, another name for the 15th MEU, is one of seven such task forces in the Marine Corps. 

Each task force consists of about 2,200 personnel, including infantry, a helicopter squadron and those who handle combat logistics.

"Realistic urban training allows the Marines and sailors of the 15th MEU to exercise vital skills to better prepare them for what they may face while forward deployed," said Col. Vance L. Cryer, the 15th MEU's commanding officer.

"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."

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