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By Erin Smith

The area around Bladen Lakes State Forest will be the scene for a training exercise for the United States Marine Corps overnight Monday. According to Hans Rohr with Bladen Lakes State Forest the Marines are anticipated to arrive at the State Forest via helicopter and Osprey landing craft.

Rohr said the Marines will enter the Bladen Lakes State Forest at a designated location off and from that location they must work their way to the Bladen County Training Center while remaining hidden from view. Rohr said the exercise calls for the Marines to not utilize traditional means such as paved roadways or open paths but rather to utilize their skills in the forested areas.

The object is for the Marines to arrive at the Bladen County Training Center at White Lake, said Rohr.

Marine Corps 1st Lt. Buckon said the exercise is called a realistic urban training exercise.

“The public can expect military aircraft and a limited number of military vehicles in the area,” said 1st Lt. Buckon.

He warned residents if they do see military vehicles or personnel do not approach them.

Last year, the Marine Corps held a training exercise at the Bladen County Training Center where Marines were flown into the training center itself and had to make their way through the camp and secure the buildings and personnel.

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