Army Conducts Nighttime Exercises in Downtown Chicago
July 24, 2013
Following up on recent and unannounced training exercises in Florida and Washington state, the U.S. military is conducting a drill in Chicago.
The Windy City’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday it is providing support for “routine military training exercises,” including flying helicopters in the downtown area of the city at night.
“The training sites have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents,” the OEMC said in a statement released to the public.
According to a 2013 U.S. Census Bureau report, 2,695,598 people live in Chicago. Population density is 11,841.8 residents per square mile, making it one of the most populated urban areas in the United States.
The “realistic urban training” conducted by the U.S. Special Operations Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, includes the participation of soldiers from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment headquartered in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
According to the Tribune, the training is designed to prepare military personnel for overseas deployments.
In July, we reported on an Army exercise conducted in Port Angeles, Washington, that turned the small city into a simulated war zone and terrorized residents. Frightened citizens flooded the police with phone calls complaining about low flying Chinook helicopters.
“Because of the volume of the complaints that we heard, I want to let the Army base know that if it’s necessary to fly over populated areas, we want advance notice,” Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict told the Peninsula Daily News on July 12.