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Are U.S. Marines running martial law training drills in Los Angeles?

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(NaturalNews) U.S. Marines are conducting training in and around the Greater Los Angeles area, giving some residents a bit of unease while others have opined that the exercises are really just preparation for mass civil unrest.

According to various local reporting, some residents were stunned to see Marine transport aircraft -- V-22 Ospreys, in particular -- flying over freeways and the city center. The V-22 is a relatively new aircraft that features a pair of massive propellers that allow the plane to take off and land like a helicopter but fly like a plane.

Marine officials were quick to dispel any rumors or concerns.

"We do a lot of training on Camp Pendleton. It's very easy for us to sort of become familiar with all the training locations. So, mixing it up and going to some place like L.A., it's brand new terrain, it's unfamiliar, it forces you to think a little more," Capt. Brian Block told local ABC affiliate KABC.

That said, he went on to assure residents that there won't be any tanks or other weapons of war motoring the streets of L.A.

"We are going to do everything we can to minimize the noise impact on the local communities. We understand people have lives, but it's also important for us to get that realistic training," Block said.

A third Obama term?

However, the KABC report did say that Marine aircraft would be ferrying troops to and from "secret" training locations in and around Southern California -- and that, of course, has led to speculation from some that what is really going on is "realistic training" to contain civil unrest in response to some government or political event.

In a Facebook post to radio and TV host Glenn Beck, someone named Michael Bailardo said:

Think Martial Law & a 3rd OB term aren't in the works? THINK AGAIN!

Bailardo then went on to to provide a number of links to stories detailing the Marines' exercise.

An Associated Press story appeared to stoke those fears with this headline: "Marines to train in downtown Los Angeles for urban combat."

The story noted:

Dozens of Marines will raid buildings and dodge paintballs shot from modified M-15s in downtown Los Angeles as part of a routine exercise to prepare troops for urban combat, officials said....

Los Angeles residents may notice anywhere from two to six military helicopters buzzing over the metro area next week, but Capt. Brian Block said no one will be able to see the raids being held at several undisclosed locations in the city because they will be off limits to the public for safety reasons.

Now, understand that the military has built urban training centers at various locations around the country. The AP story quoted above even included a photo of Marines performing "counterinsurgency training exercises at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Indiana... [in] 2009," for example.

Not the first time troops have visited American cities

And these latest exercises are by far not the first conducted in real urban settings in the U.S. Here are just a few recent occurrences:

-- In 2011 and 2013, military exercises were held in Miami. In the latter instance, according to a local CBS affiliate, Black Hawk helicopters were used: "The training is designed to ensure that military personnel are able to operate in urban areas and to focus on preparations for overseas deployment. It also serves as a mandatory training certification requirement."

-- In January 2013, gunfire and the sight of Army helicopters surprised some Houston residents. A local ABC report noted: "The U.S. Army along with other agencies took over the old Carnegie Vanguard High School near Scott and Airport. There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds."

-- In April 2013, U.S. military personnel were involved in urban training in Chicago.

Get real - and realistic training

Are these troops training for unrest in America? Not likely. In fact, the regular military are forbidden by law -- even martial law -- from acting as an occupying force. If any military force were needed to quell civil unrest, that function would fall to state National Guard forces (as happened in Ferguson, Missouri, recently).

Does that mean our forces will never be called upon to fight in an urban environment? Hardly -- thus the realistic training.

Finally, there is this: Military personnel are forbidden from following illegal or immoral orders. Any order to attack U.S. civilians (who aren't attacking U.S. forces) or enforce an unconstitutional third presidential term would be such an order and, therefore, unlikely to be followed by a majority of personnel and officers.









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