For those who don't live and breath military acronyms (I don't, that's for sure), MOUT stands for Military Operations on Urban Terrain. I had heard of mock-Arab cities being built in the desert to simulate urban warfare. I never expected to encounter such a thing in person…
On Monday I visited Camp Pendleton, which I found out is preparing marines for this kind of warfare. Much of its terrain is really ideal for mountain and amphibious warfare--the kind of terrain that was ideally suited for training soldiers in WW II and Vietnam. Now they've transformed a gravel pit into a little Arab village, complete with a mosque.
They are stacking shipping containers, icing them with stucco and topping with a star-and-moon! Several poles have cameras to point out which G.I. Joe made a wrong move.
click for a better view-->
I don't know, I think they could have consulted an architect on the mosque, it looks like it came out of Counter-Strike...