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U.S. Marine Corps aircraft to fly in vicinity of South Boston

South Boston News
The MV-22 Osprey
SoVaNow.com / April 17, 2015
South Boston-area residents can expect an increase in military aircraft traffic in the vicinity of the South Boston Speedway and Halifax County Fairgrounds over the weekend of April 25.

Marines and Sailors of the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will conduct training near at the speedway and fairgrounds as part of their realistic urban training exercise, or RUT.

Residents may notice various military aircraft flying through the area and may see military vehicles and personnel April 24-26. Types of aircraft participating in the training include MV-22 Ospreys, UH-1 Hueys, CH-53E Super Stallions, AH-1 Cobras and AV-8B Harriers.

Since 1985, the three Camp Lejeune-based MEUs have used numerous cities throughout the United States to simulate the kinds of environments to which MEUs are often called in a crisis as realistically as possible.

The Marines initiated their pre-deployment training program in March and will conduct a series of land-based exercises and numerous at-sea periods with their Navy counterparts. RUT is the 26th MEU's first major exercise in the program.

The 26th MEU is composed of its command element; Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 (Reinforced); and Combat Logistics Battalion 26.

The MEU is slated to be the landing force for the Norfolk-based Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which consists of the amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), USS Arlington (LPD 24) and USS Oak Hill (LSD 51).

The MEU and Kearsarge ARG are scheduled to deploy in fall 2015 to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility to serve as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations.

If residents have concerns about the training or questions about the noise of the aircraft the following number is provided as an information "hotline": 910-467-8693.

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