Blackwater Worldwide, a provider of security and security training for military, police, and other government agencies, recently tried to build a military training complex in rural east San Diego County. Plans included live firing ranges, helicopter facilities, and an urban combat simulation area. The project drew the ire of local residents, environmental activists, U.S. Representative Bob Filner (D-CA), and a gaggle of peace activists.
More recently, the company announced plans for an indoor training facility in Otay Mesa, near the Mexican border. That project drew the anger of San Diego city officials, local residents and, of course, the usual assortment of anti-military activists. Blackwater obtained a federal court order allowing it to operate the facility, which the U.S. Navy said was needed to provide small arms training. The company claimed the city was in noncompliance with that order, holding up a final permit and not allowing part of the project, including a ship simulator, to be built. A company attorney said the city's chief building official placed 64 conditions on the permit, including wheelchair access.