Marines to go on maneuvers over Echo Park *

Photo by U.S.Naval Imagery/Flickr

Just as Echo Park recovers from the barrage of Fourth of July fireworks, residents have been advised to prepare themselves for another noisy assault, this one courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.  The office of Congressman Xavier Becerra sent out an email notifying residents that a helicopter landing area near the LAPD Academy in Elysian Park will be used for training in urban combat later this month:

The Marine Corps will be conducting Realistic Urban Training by the Marine Expeditionary Force from July 8* to July 22 2011 in various areas of California, including a helicopter landing zone located at the LAPD/SWAT Academy parking lot.  The appropriate approval letters from the property owner have been signed.  Additionally, liaison with local law enforcement and emergency service agencies has been made and will continue during the training event.

The skies over Echo Park are no strangers to helicopters, primarily of the police and news variety. Residents have also seen and heard previous aerial military maneuvers, including sighting of a “Stealth Chopper” in the summer of 2009 that turned out to be joint training exercises between the military and the LAPD.  But some Echo Park residents are already complaining about the potential for more noise from those Marine choppers, which also might be heard in Solano Canyon, located down the road from the police academy. Echo Park Patch reports the subject came up at Thursday night’s meeting of the Echo Park Improvement Assn:

Association Secretary Andrew Garsten was concerned that the U.S. Marine Corps would be using the Elysian Park Police Academy for training and that use of the helipad would create undue noise.

* Update: Capt. Roger Hollenbeck, a spokesman for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said the flights from the “Camp Snoopy” landing field near the L.A. Police Academy won’t begin until July 14.  The helicopters – including the UH1 Yankee, AH-1 Cobra, and CH 46 –  will be using the field intermittently from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.and then from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.  The Marines will refrain from using their largest helicopters but it can still get noisy.

“They are larger and got more power than the average news chopper,” Hollenbeck said. “We are flying smaller aircraft …  we don’t want to cause too much unrest among the civilian population.”


  1. “Today in ‘this would never happen in Brentwood’ news….”

  2. Yes, how about using the helipad at the Getty?

  3. yes, this is one of the many things that ‘would never happen in brentwood’- good, bad or otherwise. we live here precisely because it’s grittier. if you want quiet, polish, and manicure- feel free to move.

  4. Maybe the marines can alter their course a bit and attack all the loser cholos?

  5. @Whitman Mayo: Lame.

  6. why am I the only one who finds this very creepy?

  7. The Brentwood PD doesn’t appear to have a heli pad from looking at it on google maps. Drunk marines at the Gold Room I want to see.

    This isn’t really a training exercise btw… it’s CARMAGEDDON!

  8. @Becca

    Yeah, cause cowardly gang members who shoot at unarmed people are a treasured cultural icon of the neighborhood? Pathetic and predictable.

  9. @Whitman Mayo: Nah, more just because wishing violence upon other human beings (even those with whom you disagree) is–in my opinion–lame. 🙂

  10. @ patty- “training for urban combat” on U.S. soil in Los Angeles is indeed very, very creepy. Why? For what purpose? Didn’t they get enough urban combat training in Iraq & Afghanistan? Maybe to quell any uprising of the people when they finally wake up to the screwing they are getting everyday by the corporate oligarchs?

  11. Dennis is absolutly right. There are many “Urban Combat” training facilities around the country for Military use. Why L.A.? and with the L.A.P.D? Sounds more like training for “Martial Law.” I don’t know if you noticed, but things aren’t looking good around the world. Take a look at Greece for example. We’re going down that same path, but the media won’t really report that kind of news to you and me. Just saying.

  12. “…We’re going down that same path, but the media won’t really report that kind of news to you and me.”

    Have extra foil to make hat for you when black choppers arrive. Just saying you watch Oliver Stone and X Files too much.

  13. @Susan,
    Yeah that’s why I moved here for the grit! Don’t be a little snot and tell us to ‘feel free to move’.
    Maybe you’ll understand once you’ve lived here for more than 6 months.

  14. Camp Snoopy?! That’s adorable.
    Thanks for the heads up on the chopper noise.

  15. Perhaps its just a scare tactic ….and as for cholos I really hope their not trying to be armed revolutionaries they have rebeled plenty. I say its time for cholos to educate themselves and gentrify!

  16. Dennis and Jaime

    are you guys starting up a local EP Tea Party chapter? may I suggest going by TXP?

  17. It is a bit creepy. I don’t think you need to be a tin foil hat wearing tea party member to think that it’s not a good idea to mix law enforcement with the military. One of the cultural problems with the LAPD since the 1950s is their paramilitary status. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but they still sometimes feel more like an occupying army rather than public safety officers. Gobs of homeland security money has only made this worse.

    And, FYI, the LAPD has actually conducted training for the marines in urban warfare:

  18. “They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it!.”- George Carlin

  19. Yeah, militarization of the Police, LAPD in particular, is nothing new. “Thin Blue Line” and all that. “WAR on drugs” etc. It’s not a good thing.

  20. @whiteman mayo … Hilarious

  21. Can we go on flower-planting maneuvers at Camp Pendleton? It seems only fair.
    Can’t you see it:
    Masses of Echo Park and Silver Lake residents storming out of their Priuses and Low Riders with drought-tolerant seedlings in hand onto the bluffs of North San Diego county with Annie Lennox, or Los Lobos, or even The Flight of the Valkyries blaring from their car radios. Ahhh, I love the smell of succulents in the morning!

  22. They are only doing these exercises to protect your civil rights!

  23. @urbandrum…. please go be an disinformationalist in another country. I am pretty sure we should not have a military on us soil, I am pretty sure the militia is the army that protects our rights, and borders according to the constitution.

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