POINT MUGU : Marine Exercises Target Offshore Rigs


Loud booms and strange lights that lit up the ocean off Carpinteria were the sounds and sights of U. S. Marine Corps exercises focused on seizing and defending or destroying offshore oil rigs.

One Wednesday night exercise, which lasted from 7 to 8:30 p.m., involved about 100 Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Camp Pendleton near Oceanside, according to Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Jack Hagan.

At the same time, Hagan said, a Marine Corps C-130 transport turboprop was practicing dropping night flares a few miles offshore from the Point Mugu Naval Air Weapons Station.


In all, six CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, two AH-1 Cobra gunship helicopters and one UH-1 Huey command helicopter were in the air during the exercises. For security reasons, Hagan would not disclose the exact location or the name of the oil platform where the exercises were held.

Hagan said the exercises are designed to simulate Marine Corps missions in the Persian Gulf area and are conducted off the Southern California coast twice yearly.

No injuries of Marines, who were staged out of the Port Hueneme Naval Construction Battalion Center, were reported.