Photo by Caleb Revill / MTSU Sidelines
Contributions by Andrew Wigdor / News Editor
Marine special operations forces from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, conducted a training exercise at the Sinking Creek Water Resource Recovery Facility on Blanton Drive in Murfreesboro Wednesday night.
A City of Murfreesboro Government Facebook post notified residents that the training was planned to take place between 6 p.m. and midnight.
According to the Facebook post, no live ammunition would be used in this exercise. The exercise was in coordination with Murfreesboro law enforcement, and residents were advised to “avoid the area.” The post, however, didn’t stop some local residents from going to check out the situation.
Some families and residents parked on Blanton Drive and gathered on the street around 9:30 p.m. to listen for helicopters and possible simulated explosions. Black Hawk helicopters could occasionally be heard flying low overhead. Further up the road, officials had blocked off the route leading to the training exercise area.
“This training event was part of our 10-day pre-deployment training exercise, known as ‘Raven,'” said Nick Mannweiler, a Communication Strategy Officer for the Marine Corps Forces. “Raven provides a live, realistic training environment for our Raiders to gain valuable experience employing the skills they will need for special operations missions conducted overseas. Special Operations Forces conduct training periodically in civilian environments because the distances between chosen training sites replicate anticipated conditions in their deployment location. All of it contributes to providing the best training possible to our Raiders.”
Mannweiler stated that the facility on Blanton Steet was chosen due to the necessity of public safety.
“The site’s attributes provided for training requirements in a location where public safety could be ensured,” Mannweiler said. “We could not provide our Marines with safe and high-quality training like this without the permission of and coordination with municipal leaders and private property owners. In exchange for an hour or so of training noise, our 10-day exercise injects approximately $200,000 into the local economy through hotels, gasoline, food and transportation.”
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