Skip to main content

Military apologizes for surprise helicopter training

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

At least we'll be prepared tonight, when those military helicopters return for another round of training in the skies over the Twin Cities metro area.

The presence of the helicopters took many people by surprise Monday night when they began buzzing around downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, and flying over neighborhoods in between. The training began around dusk and continued until after midnight.

There was no advance notice to the public that the training was taking place. Many area residents were shaken and officials in both cities were upset about the lack of information.

A spokesman for the military special operations team apologized Tuesday for the inconvenience, MPR News reports.

Public Information Officer Maj. Allen Hill said local law enforcement agencies are usually the ones who inform the public shortly before the training begins; the military doesn't want too much attention in an effort to avoid having crowds gather to watch.

According to MPR, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is the unit in town for training. They're using around half a dozen Black Hawk helicopters, and will continue their training through Thursday.

The special ops exercises take place 10 to 12 times a year in cities all over the country, MPR News notes. The last time they were in the Twin Cities was in 2012.

St. Paul police issued a statement Tuesday saying there's only so much information that can be released about the training.

"Security concerns do not allow for exact times and locations of the training to be released as it continues in the coming days. While local law enforcement officers, including members of the Saint Paul Police Department, are not taking part in the night training, they are in place to ensure public safety."

The department said it would also send out reminders to the public through its Twitter feed, @sppdpio.

Minneapolis police spokesman Scott Seroka said Minneapolis police were also involved in the activity.

"These are Department of Defense exercises that should not be shared with the general public and security is of the utmost concern," he said in a statement.

Some folks were still taking the military to task Tuesday, including St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Joe Soucheray.

Next Up

snow

Farmer almanacs release their 2022-23 winter forecasts for MN

November is right around the corner and one of the almanacs figures it'll be a cold and snowy month.

image

Minneapolis Police Department seeks authorization to use drones

A public hearing on the matter could be held this month.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 12.50.25 PM

Minnesota Harvest apple farm to open under new owners this month

New food and attractions are in store for this season's fall fun.

Pixabay - water surface

22-year-old man found dead in central Minnesota lake

The man was reported missing and later found dead in the water near the lakeside residence.

Cabela's

Seven kids charged over shoplifting at Cabela's, 100 mph police chase

The youths were pursued in a a stolen car and almost hit a squad car, police say.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.50.05 PM

Missing: 17-year-old Waite Park boy last seen July 3

Police say there is no reason to believe he's in danger.

Melanie Valencia

Northfield bicyclist killed in crash identified as 14-year-old

She was riding her bike to soccer practice before a driver hit her last week.

Samantha Holte

Appeal to find 17-year-old Minnesota girl

She was last seen north of Fergus Falls.

Pixabay - water surface

Man's body found near empty fishing boat on St. Croix River

The boat, and an unoccupied truck found on the shore, belong to a 43-year-old White Bear Lake man.

SuspectsWantedMOAShooting

Police identify MOA shooting suspects, issue nationwide warrants

Three Twin Cities residents were charged Monday in connection with helping the suspects escape.

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 7.25.42 PM

Charges: Best Western employees helped MOA shooting suspects escape

Prosecutors allege two Best Western employees helped the suspects escape.

Related