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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

‘Scary’ Choppers: So, what are they training for as they “terrorized my city” with low-flying helicopters.

Is the US planning an invasion on Port Angele like cities in other lands? I understand the need for training and cost cutting (training in America instead of deploying overseas) but in todays world I wonder what they are training for? Surely they are not training for activity in American cities, surely not!

Army Apologizes For ‘Scary’ Choppers In Port Angeles

File image of Black Hawks  (Photo by Faleh Kheiber-Pool/Getty Images)

File image of Black Hawks (Photo by Faleh Kheiber-Pool/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd met with Army officials Monday and received an apology for a nighttime training exercise last week that she says “terrorized my city” with low-flying helicopters.

Kidd went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord demanding answers. Why didn’t the Army notify city officials of the late-night training mission? Thundering choppers shook residents, awakened children and startled animals in the Olympic Peninsula city about 80 miles northwest of the army base in Western Washington.

The mayor met for an hour with the base commander, Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr., and two officers with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, she said.

“They listened to me and heard our concerns,” she said Monday afternoon. “They apologized and they said they are going to do everything possible for it not to happen again.

“That’s what I needed to hear,” Kidd said.

In addition, Hodges agreed to attend the Tuesday night city council meeting to apologize in person to council members and the public, she said.

Kidd was one of the people awakened by the exercise.

“We have a Coast Guard base and know what our Coast Guard helicopters sound like,” she said. “I’ve never heard anything like that.”

“It was horrendously loud and frightening. There were lights on some of the helicopters that just really upset us,” she said.

Dozens of people called emergency dispatchers late Thursday night and early Friday morning to ask about military helicopters circling and spotlighting the city, The Peninsula Daily News reported.

Dispatchers didn’t have anything to tell them. The Clallam County sheriff’s office didn’t find out until later Friday that the copters from Lewis-McChord were training at the Coast Guard base at Ediz Hook, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“There was evidently some miscalculation about the noise and disruption it would cause,” Kidd said.

The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, known as the Night Stalkers, is recognized for proficiency in nighttime operations, its website says.

“They are highly trained and ready to accomplish the very toughest missions in all environments, anywhere in the world, day or night, with unparalleled precision. They employ highly modified Chinook, Black Hawk and assault and attack configurations of Little Bird helicopters,” the website says.

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