From the March 2002 Idaho Observer:

Marines to bring portable death and destruction laboratory to state capital

Elite forces plan “covert” exercises in Boise next fall

Boise -- The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) recently completed open urban warfare excercises in North Little Rock, Arkansas. At that time it was announced another MCWL exercise was planned for Boise next fall.

Where the North Little Rock exercises involved checkpoints, house to house searches, and carrying weapons openly in the streets, the Boise exercises will be “covert” in nature. Some 50 Marines are expected to be split up into teams of 12. They are to pick targets and gather intelligence without being detected. “Boise is going to be great with the Greenbelt going right through the city,” Randy Gangle, senior operational adviser for the MCWL said . “It is going to be good to get out of a sterile military environment and practice in a real, live city. Frankly, we just really don´t know how to do urban ground reconnaissance,” Gangle explained.

Most urban warfare exercises taking place throughout the nation for the last several years have been multi-jurisdictional training exercises involving local police, national guard and regular military personnel. These exercises, however, are conducted by this special group of Marines to test new technology and techniques for urban warfare that can be applied anywhere in the world or here at home.

Another curious aspect of these exercises is their proximity to state capitals.

Boise Police Chief Don Pierce is proud that the MCWL chose his city to test their new urban warfare toys and techniques. He is so interested in calming concerns that this is all just a big show to prepare American citizens to accept military omnipresence that it sounds like he's about ready to sell tickets. “It is going to be an interesting and fun community event. There will be a role for citizens to play.”

Gangle expounded on how the public can help make this exercise fun for everyone. “We don´t want to be seen doing this. People will be encouraged to help us [by calling] police if they see anything.”

The MCWL has an interesting warfighting agenda available on the web at: Hit the link to projects.

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