Are Marines Preparing to Invade Libya?
Are the Marines heading back to "the shores of Tripoli?" That depends on whom you ask, and how you interpret the massive landing assault drill involving thousands of marines now underway this week on the east coast.
The massive drill is the largest of its kind ever done on the east coast of the U.S. It's on beaches stretching from the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia to the Navy's Pinecastle Bombing Range in Florida.
It's called Exercise Mailed Fist (translation: Armored Fist). It's designed to practice beach landings, and test the capability of every type of Marine Corps aircraft, including MV-22 Ospreys and F/A 18 Hornets, as well as some Navy ships and Air Force planes.
Most of the aerial action will be centered near Marine bases on the North and South Carolina coasts. Vacationers in those areas are seeing a lot of military planes of all kinds flying in all directions.
There are rumors -- none confirmed -- that the marine drill is preparation for a ground invasion of Libya. The Pentagon had no comment on the rumors.