Marines at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona -- which is next to the Mexican border -- have been forced to shut down over 500 times since July 2004 due to illegal aliens hopping the border and wandering around on the range. The first paragraph below seems to suggest it is the Minuteman Projects
fault because they are forcing illegals to head west, however they fail to mention that the Minuteman Project has only been out there a few days and couldn't have caused the massive amounts they have in the story.
Maybe one or two of these illegal aliens "accidentally" shot would stop them from crossing in that particular spot. Who the hell wanders across a Marine firing range anyway? Are these the intelligent people we want coming to our country? An IQ of approximately 35.
Virtually every Marine squadron headed to Iraq or Afghanistan receives combat training at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, which for nearly 40 miles touches the US-Mexico border in the southwestern corner of Arizona. The Border Patrol's focus in recent years on tightening the border in the eastern part of the state, where volunteer citizens this month have established their own observation posts, has pushed more undocumented immigrants westward.
Since July 2004, the training range has been shut down more than 500 times because of immigrants spotted on the range, causing a loss of more than 1,100 training hours, said Colonel James J. Cooney, the base's commanding officer.
"That's equivalent to almost 46 days of training. We're getting overrun here," he said in an interview. "Any moment we take away from a Marine's experience base could cost him his life in combat."
Cooney said Marines intercepted more than 1,500 undocumented immigrants on the training range last year and, in the first three months of this year, more than 1,100. Base personnel detain the immigrants and call in Border Patrol agents to pick them up.
"'I have to use Marines that aren't trained in that to do that, which puts me at a liability," said Cooney, a Boston College graduate. "It's completely counterproductive to our whole training operation."
Another big concern, he said, is the potential danger to undocumented immigrants: "We just don't want them to come here, because we're firing lasers, we're shooting machine guns, we're shooting 209-millimeter cannons, and we're dropping practice bombs, and we don't want to hurt anyone [Why not? - Digger]."
Last summer a Marine pilot dropped a practice bomb on a target and seconds later, a few feet away, a small group of illegal immigrants scrambled from underneath a bush and ran down the range. The near miss was caught on a training tape that Cooney has reviewed.
Also note the increase in numbers crossing the border this year. No doubt hoping to get some of that Presidential amnesty he's been tooting his horn about.
Two other bases in Arizona, one the Army's and another the Air Force's, have experienced similar problems.
At the Army Yuma Proving Ground, near the Marine Corps Air Station but about 30 miles north of the border, an increasing number of undocumented immigrants have invaded military space and disrupted training.
"The smugglers just drive them up the highway and dump them off, and these illegal immigrants stumble right onto our testing range," said Chuck Wullenjohn, spokesman for the Army base.
As one of the largest military installations in the Western world, the Army Yuma Proving Ground is constantly conducting tests for ground forces on artillery and ammunition, including tank rounds, mines, mortars, and helicopter guns.
"In 2004 we suspended range operations 55 times for a net loss of 122 hours," said Jim Uken, director of the 56th Fighter Wing range management office.
There is some concern that, besides wandering immigrants, foreign terrorists could cross the Mexican border and infiltrate the Arizona bases to conduct intelligence gathering or commit acts of sabotage.
"The potential exists, and that is a key reason we are vigilant about securing our training ranges," Cooney said.
Gotta love our border policy.
Tipped by: The Immigration Blog