October 28, 2007
Residents in south central Virginia may hear helicopters flying and Marines patrolling on foot in coming days.
About 2,000 Marines and sailors are set to conduct realistic urban training exercises over the next two weeks throughout the region.
The training is for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the landing force for the Norfolk-based Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group. The group is set to deploy overseas later this spring and the training is designed to expose the Marines to realistic scenarios in an urban area.
The exercises are running from Sunday through November 11th in Martinsville, Danville, Chatham, South Boston, Crewe and Fork Union. The unit will operate out of Fort Pickett in Blackstone.
Marines will be trained to conduct a variety of missions that they may be called upon to perform, including noncombatant evacuation operations and raids.
Unit public affairs officer Captain Kelly Frushour says it's valuable for Marines to train off base. Frushour says residents will be notified about mock raids in the area.
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