Having started on Monday, the US Army continues its war drills across the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area through Saturday with the goal of enhancing Army Special Forces skills by “operating in urban environments”, Army Special Operations Command said in a statement.
Residents around Los Angeles may hear sounds associated with the field training exercise, including helicopters and weapon simulations, according to the statement.
“The local terrain and training facilities in Los Angeles provide the Army with unique locations and simulates urban environments the service members may encounter when deployed overseas,” the Army told CBS.
Downtown Los Angeles residents were shocked Monday night when a fleet of Boeing A/MH-6M Little Bird and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters swooped in around them.
— Uche (@ThatsUche) 7 February 2019
Newchopper4 Bravo was overhead as Special Forces performed training exercises in the parking lot, then were extracted by helicopters before taking off over the 110 Freeway while police blocked nearby intersections.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) 6 February 2019
There were other field training exercises that were on the perimeter of the city, away from populated areas and toward the San Pedro Bay port Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning.
The Army leased space in an industrially zoned area around the Port of Los Angeles near Terminal Island for field training exercises Wednesday night, according to Phillip Sanfield, a spokesman for the L.A. port. Port operations at Long Beach, the second largest port in the US, were not affected, port spokesman Lee Peterson told the Los Angeles Times.
Sanfield said residents living on houseboats in marinas around Wilmington were notified they might hear helicopters, explosions, and simulated assault rifle fire.
“There is no replacement for realistic training. Each location selected enables special operations teams and flight crews to maintain maximum readiness and proficiency, validate equipment and exercise standard safety procedures. The training is essential to ensure service members are fully trained and prepared to defend our nation overseas.”
The Army Special Operations Command conducts multiple urban field training exercises around the country, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for the command group.
“It wouldn’t be unheard of to train in Boston or Miami,” he said.
“It takes a lot of planning and coordination to do this safely.”