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More on Castle Rock city

When looking at a map or aerial photo of the island it is clear why the SEALs chose the northern tip of San Clemente Island for their elaborate urban warfare training facility as it is situated between various forms of shoreline and a US Navy operated auxiliary airfield. It is all surrounded by barren, almost martian-like terrain, with a large plateau jutting up at the southern end of the MOUT complex, which is perfect for pattern of life surveillance and sniper training…

The sprawling concrete facility, seen above while under early construction, is said to feature a six-story hotel like structure, a city hall, central square, police station complete with a jail, a bazaar like market, large embassy, hotel, school, church/mosque, motor-pool and all the other features of a major town in a third world country. It also has a nearby rural village like those found in Afghanistan. Dozens of blast proof buildings with meandering corridors that sit on tight streets were modeled after real patterns of urban sprawl in developing countries. Like many of the SEALs tools and training devices, the whole city was custom designed with great detail to make every corner, stairwell, roof-line, deck, street, room and window present some sort of unique challenges that a SEAL may be confronted with during real urban operations. The heavy-duty structures allow for explosives to be detonated inside them with minimal resulting damage, which is pretty important considering SEALs are known for blasting their way into their objective if need be…

It is well-known that SEAL Team Six trained on a full-scale mock-up of the Bin Laden compound in the months leading up to the historic raid in not just one, but two locations. This unique training no doubt came in very handy when things did not go as planned after the teams arrived on-target in Abbottabad.

The investment made by the Navy on the almost Disneyland scale San Clemente Island MOUT facility is money well spent and we can only hope that such a facility continues to grow and becomes even more useful for the warfighters we send on our most dangerous missions.