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Camp Pendleton Tests Ability To Deploy 50,000 Troops

Photo by Capt. Owen Kimbrel

Photo credit: 1 Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines listen as a 1st Marine Expeditionary Force leader gives a brief during a simulated deployment exercise at Camp Pendleton, Feb. 17, 2015.

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Some 1,700 Marines and sailors are participating in the training at the Camp Pendleton that will prepare military leaders for how to execute such a large operation should they be called to do so.

Camp Pendleton Marines are testing their ability to deploy 50,000 troops in the event of a combat emergency.

The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, usually deploys on a much smaller scale, such as the 2,200 Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit returning to San Diego on Monday, or the Special Purpose Ground Air Task Force of 2,300 currently in the Middle East.

“We’re moving back to our roots of being able to really work through the full spectrum of warfare,” said Maj. Staci Reidinger, spokeswoman for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Reidinger said the exercise, which began Thursday and continues through Monday, is preparing military leaders how to execute the large operation.

“We want to make sure that at any point if the flag were to go up and they were to need the Marines to go out, that we already had the training, and we’re there, we’re focused and we’re ready to go,” Reidinger said.

For the 1,700 Marines and sailors participating in the training, it's about knowing what to do and how to stay safe while working alongside coalition forces.

Planning for the exercise began more than a year ago, Reidinger said, and is not related to rising tensions across the globe.

"We prepare for everything," she said. "As Marines and sailors, that's what the American public expects, that's what the government needs."

A recent time that a force of tens of thousands was deployed was during the Iraq war in 2003.

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