Marines, sailors to 'invade' Jasper County for training mission

achristnovich@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 3, 2013 

About 150 Marines and sailors will hold "realistic urban training" in Jasper County later this week as part of pre-deployment training.

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will train within Ridgeland town limits Thursday through Saturday. Times and exact locations for the training are not being announced, according to 2nd Lt. Gerard R. Farao.

"The training could take place at any time during those days," he said Saturday.

Residents will likely see and hear military vehicles and possibly see aircraft, Farao said. The Marines and sailors likely will be stationed on ships, and the training is part of a certification for deployment to Mediterranean and African shores, he said.

Participants will be in uniform and carry weapons. Some exercises will take place at night. Residents might hear "popping" sounds as Marines fire blanks. The blanks do not pose a hazard for residents, Farao said.

The training has been coordinated with local, county and state agencies and officials, including the Ridgeland police and fire departments, according to a Marine Corps news release.

Beginning today, Marines will notify residents face-to-face and door-to-door if the training will be near their property or home. Fliers with more information also will be available.

Although there is no danger, Farao said residents should stay away if they see training under way or uniformed personnel.

Follow reporter Anne Christnovich at twitter.com/IPBG_Anne.

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