Marines, ‘enemy forces’ invade area

A MArine on a training mission at Camp Lejeune. Courtesy USMC
A MArine on a training mission at Camp Lejeune. Courtesy USMC

Aircraft, military vehicles and even enemy combatants will be seen in Bladen County and border communities in the coming weeks, but there’s no reason to worry.

The 24th Marine Expeditionary unit will be undergoing training along the Cape Fear River and in other areas, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. While not much activity will be seen during daylight, some blank firing of machine guns and heavy weapons, as well as more aircraft, will be noticed at night. Marine and Navy personnel will be involved.

Most of the training will take place in areas far remote from homes and towns, the Marine corps said in a press release, but some roads and areas may be temporarily blocked off by law enforcement or military personnel. Boats will be seen on the Cape Fear River, and aircraft may fly over some homes at low altitudes.

The training is part of a coordinated program that will also see Marines and “enemy” personnel in other areas of the state.

Residents are asked not to interact with the service members involved in the training, as it is designed to encourage the Marines to be isolated.

The annual maneuvers take place along the Cape Fear due to similarities between the river and other waterways in areas where U.S. forces may be deployed.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at