Late-night military training rattles some in Bloomington


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The U.S. Army has apologized after late-night military training exercises this week in Bloomington caught some residents by surprise with low-flying helicopters, simulated gunfire and explosions.

While many residents on the city’s south side were warned through flyers about late Monday and early Tuesday’s training exercises, others were not and the noises left them rattled and wondering what was happening in the middle of the night.

“We apologize for that,” said Elise Van Pool, deputy public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where the soldiers participating in the training are stationed.

“Here at Fort Bragg it is not unusual to see helicopters flying around,” she said. “We recognize that for most people across the U.S., having their windows shake from a helicopter close by is not usual.”

Van Pool said the Army had National Guard members deliver paper notices to some residents in the training area. But residents of the Sunny Slopes neighborhood were not notified in advance and were surprised as helicopters flew low and without lights over their homes, The Herald-Times reported.

Army officials organizing such training advise local cities and police agencies to give advance notice through social media and local news outlets, but Van Pool said that didn’t happen in this instance.

Bloomington city spokeswoman Yael Ksander said the city was asked to limit public notice about the training and it followed those orders.

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