oceanbeach_cliffs.jpgIf you subscribe to Alert SF, the city’s emergency notification system, you’ve probably been hit with several texts this morning, warning of military activities on Ocean Beach and Lake Merced. No, it’s not Red Dawn, people — all this stuff is part of disaster preparedness drills planned as part of Fleet Week.

“Be advised, Oct. 3rd from 10-11am a large military watercraft will arrive on Ocean Beach. This is part of an exercise and is only a drill,” warns Alert SF.

According to the Army’s 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, that’s referring to the plan for the Navy and Marine Corps to land a hovercraft on Ocean Beach Wednesday morning.

The amphibious hovercraft, which is officially called a landing craft air cushion, operates from the USS Makin Island, which is an assault ship that will be berthed at Piers 30/32, and Marines will showcase the craft’s abilities in a disaster situation at the beach.

According to Ocean Beach Bulletin, the hovercraft will “deliver emergency supplies” to a “Shock Trauma and Surgical and Resuscitation Platoon,” in the Ocean Beach parking lot. The public is invited to check it all out and to “interact with the marines and sailors,” OBB reports.

“On Oct. 3rd from 11 am to 1 pm there will be an exercise with 2 helicopters at Sunset Blvd and Lake Merced. Noise will be elevated. This is part of an exercise,” Alert SF has also warned San Franciscans.

According to OBB, this drill will involve two CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters briefly landing near Lake Merced as another part of the disaster drill.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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