Service Level Live Firing Training At Marine Air Ground Combat Center To Rattle Desert All Month

Those living within even distant proximity to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Wonder Valley, Desert Heights, Landers, Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, Johnson Valley and the Morongo Basin will need endure the rolling sound of thunderous cannons, mortars, impacting shells, gunfire and explosives as well as aircraft while the Marine Corps conducts a series of training events known as service level training exercises throughout February.
The service level training exercises are highly realistic combat simulations utilizing live ammunition and actively engaged armament to prepare Marines and other U.S. and allied participating forces to deliver “rapid, powerful and sustainable response on a global scale,” according to the Marine Corps. “Critical training performed by Marines and sailors aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center prepares them for combat. They must train as they would fight — using the mortars, artillery, tanks, aircraft and guns they would use in combat.”In a paragon of understatement, the Marine Corps averred, “These training events generate sounds.”
Noise from the exercises may be amplified under cloudy conditions, according to base officials.
“Other sounds may seem like the ground is shaking, but what is actually happening is that low-frequency sound below the threshold of human hearing is traveling through the air causing small vibrations in your windows and doors. Those vibrations travel through the air, not through the ground,” according to a page on the Marine Corps website devoted to activity at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. “Weather conditions can cause great variations in the sounds you hear. The same activity at the same place on different days can have very different sound signatures because of temperature inversions, and wind strength and direction, as well as other factors.”
According to that page, the Marine Corps said it wanted members of the nearby public to let base officials “know what you hear. To improve our understanding of how training affects the community, we have implemented a sound reporting system. The information you provide will enable us to monitor what sounds are being heard, where they are being heard, and the scale of impact on the community. Through this reporting system, we will be able to match specific training areas, types of training, and weather occurrences to better understand how they factor in to what the community hears. While Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center’s training mission must continue, if there is an opportunity to make adjustments to reduce the sounds, we’ll try to take advantage of it.”
Those who want to inform the Marine Corps about the sounds that reach them can do so by calling the base’s government and external affairs office at (760) 830-9222 or by sending an email to
“Please include the time and date of the sound occurrence, where you were when you heard the sound and the type of sound that you heard (artillery, aircraft, other sound),” the page states. “Aircraft and ordnance generate sounds that can sometimes be heard in the surrounding communities and we understand that the sounds resulting from training activities may have an effect on you. For some, the sounds coming from the Combat Center may be disruptive, while others may consider them the ‘Sounds of Freedom.’”

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