MARINES CONDUCTING EXERCISES ON THE COMBAT CENTER IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct a live-fire range during Integrated Training Exercise 1-21 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, Oct. 7, 2020. ITX is the most comprehensive training conducted at MCAGCC and focuses on the tactical application of combined-arms maneuver, offensive and defensive operations during combat.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cameron E. Parks)

For at least the past two weeks, Marines at the Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms have been participating in several warfighting exercises—Integrated Training Exercise 1-21 and Service Level Training Exercise 1-21. ITX is the most comprehensive training conducted at the Combat Center and focuses on the tactical application of combined-arms maneuver, and offensive and defensive operations during combat. The SLTE exercises are designed to provide realistic and challenging training at every level of the Marine Corps to better prepare Marines to operate against future threats. The exercises include live-fire exercises in regiment-level training.

Marines with 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division, set up range 113 to zero M110 M40A6 sniper rifles during Service Level Training Exercise (SLTE) 1-21 aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. Sept. 28, 2020. 3d Reconnaissance Battalion is attached to 4th Marine Regiment for the duration of SLTE 1-21. This is an exercise designed to provide realistic and challenging training at every level of the Marine Corps to better prepare Marines to operate against future threats. Due to high heat index and inevitable moisture build up during outdoor activity, the efficacy of the masks as a barrier are greatly reduced. Thus, Marines are not required to wear masks during these training events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Laiqa Hitt)
A U.S. Marine with 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division, prepares for landing after completing a successful high altitude high opening free fall during Service Training Exercise 1-21 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Oct. 2, 2020. 3d Reconnaissance Battalion conducted sustainment military freefall operations in preparation for a Maneuver Warfare Exercise, demonstrating their technical and tactical proficiency during the regiment’s operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Carpanzano)

WORK IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK DELAYED

Southern California Edison was supposed to start construction in Joshua Tree National Park as of October 5, but the construction has been delayed. Ernest Figueroa explains what’s going on, and what visitors can expect…

Due to an unforeseen delay, road construction in Joshua Tree National Park, due to begin Monday, October 5, will begin next Monday, October 19. Preliminary signage will be installed as early as October 12. The construction project will allow Southern California Edison to construct a 12-kilovolt electric distribution line along Park Boulevard from the Twentynine Palms entrance of Joshua Tree National Park to the Pinto Wye turnoff. Visitors should expect some traffic disruption as work begins along the south bound lane both when entering the park, until they pass the Pinto Wye marker. The project will replace a deteriorated 1960’s era buried line that is at the end of its life cycle. The distribution line supplies power to several users, including the park and Belle Mountain.   

The entrances in the village of Joshua Tree, and in the southern end of the park off Interstate 10 at Cottonwood will not be affected. Work will take place Monday through Friday during daylight hours. Construction will not be conducted during weekends or holidays. Traffic control with flaggers will be employed in certain areas during this roadwork to increase efficiency and ensure safety. There could be wait times of up to ten minutes.

NEW CHIEF OF STAFF NAMED FOR CONGRESSMAN PAUL COOK

U.S. Representative Paul Cook of Yucca Valley named Tim Itnyre as his new chief of staff, following the departure of his longtime chief of staff, John Sobel. Itnyre has been a part of Cook’s congressional staff for nearly eight years, including almost six years as legislative director and, more recently, 20 months as district director. In addition, Kellie Hartl was promoted to deputy chief of staff and Dakota Higgins was promoted to district director.

CHP RECEIVES GRANT TO ENHANCE BICYCLIST AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has received a federal grant to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety efforts through September of next year. Reporter Heather Clisby has more details…

The California Highway Patrol just got a boost in their year-long effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. The Department won the California Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enforcement and Education Project VIII grant and will use the funds to increase patrols and public awareness through September 30, 2021.

Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities accounted for nearly 33 percent of all traffic-related deaths in California in 2018.  CHP urges motorists to scan intersections and yield to pedestrians whether or not there is a crosswalk. The grant monies will fund public education events and provide bicycle helmets and reflective gear to attendees.

HIGHWAY MEDIAN MAINTENANCE IN YUCCA VALLEY TUESDAY

The Town of Yucca Valley Street Department is performing maintenance on the center medians of Highway 62 during October. On Tuesday, October 13, the #1 lane will be closed in both directions from Elk Trail to Cherokee Trail from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.