you see some unusual helicopters overhead in the next couple of days, there’s nothing to worry about.
The I Marine Expeditionary Force G-7 will be conducting a Realistic Military Training this week, using the Prescott Municipal Airfield as a helicopter refueling point in order to facilitate a Long Range Raid at Camp Navajo, Arizona.
This Certification Exercise (CERTEX) is directed to be conducted from April 8-21, 2015 at various training locations throughout California and Arizona. The training at Prescott will take place on April 15, 16.
The purpose of the exercise is to “…provide the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) the opportunity to conduct training in unfamiliar environments during the final phase of their pre-deployment program. During CERTEX, the 15th MEU will be required to conduct a series of challenging and realistic training events to test their ability to conduct conventional and specialized missions.
Yavapai Downs Fiargrounds will also be utilized to conduct a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel. A Marine actor will play the role of a downed pilot. MEU personnel will insert by helicopter, set security, search for and locate a downed pilot and extract by helicopter.
Before arriving, military personnel will conduct a thorough site survey and operational risk and safety assessment of all civilian training sites to identify safety issues and concerns, as well as establish mitigating factors required to ensure that all safety measures are taken. Coordination has been conduceted with all property owners and local law enforcement.
According to the information received, “The USMC has conducted similar training exercises throughout the United States and it’s territories safely and without incident since 1985.
Senators John McCain and Flake have been notified, as has Representative Paul Gosar, Governor Doug Ducey, Mayor Marlin Kuykendall, Sheriff Scott Mascher and Chief Jerald Monahan.
“Your support of this exercise will erve a vital role in preparing the United States Marines for service during the current War on Terrorism,” concludes the notification.