National Security

Blackwater opens San Diego training center

A new counterterrorism training facility operated by military security contractor Blackwater Worldwide echoed with the grunts of Navy sailors, a day after a federal judge ordered the city to let classes begin.

The 24 trainees batted and punched each other Thursday as they learned basic strike tactics in a corner of the 61,000-square-foot converted warehouse in an industrial area near the U.S.-Mexico border.

For the next three weeks, they'll practice shooting inside a 25-yard indoor firing range and learn to wear sidearms safely while wriggling through ship hatches and up narrow ladders installed in white metal cargo containers stacked along one wall of the building to simulate a ship. Trainers from Blackwater will quiz them on distinguishing small boats carrying cargo from those carrying bombs.

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