February 10, 1998
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Marine unit drops plans to train at Hawaii base
A contingent of California Marines will skip a planned visit to the islands this month on its way to the Persian Gulf.
Some 2,000 Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., were supposed to train in Hawaii from Feb. 19-22 en route to a six-month deployment in the Western Pacific.
The Marines were not planning to conduct amphibious training at Makua Beach, where thousands of Leeward Oahu residents demonstrated last year. The protest led to a meeting with military officials and a shift in the landing site from Makua to Bellows Air Force Station in Waimanalo.
Training decisions during a mission are what determine whether or not to land from the water, said Lt. William Mitchell of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“Public protest did not influence our decision,” Mitchell said.