$170M Urban Training Center for Marines the Size of San Diego (AP 25/1/11)
A mock city roughly the size of downtown San Diego has risen in a remote Southern California desert to train military forces to fight in urban environments. The $170 million urban training center was unveiled Tuesday at the Twentynine Palms military base, about 100 miles northeast of San Diego. The 1,560-building facility will allow troops to practice and refine skills that can be used around the world, the Marine Corps said. The military has been opening mock Afghan villages at bases across the country to prepare troops for battle before they are deployed. The new training center is one of the largest and most elaborate. More than 15,000 Marines and sailors can train simultaneously.