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Military Suggested Bloomington Leaders Issue Emergency Alert About Helicopters

former Night Moves

The U.S. Army conducted training on Monday night near the old Night Moves on South Walnut Street. The City of Bloomington owns the property. (Holden Abshier, WFIU/WTIU News)

The U.S. Army said overnight trainings in Bloomington and Ellettsville early this week were designed to practice flying and close quarter combat techniques.

Elise Van Pool is deputy public affairs officer for U.S. Army Special Operations Command and said the soldiers are stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and their travel while in Indiana is unknown.

She said trainings are conducted in cities across the United States, but it takes months of coordination with local municipalities.

Not only do they help us sort of logistically, but it’s also some part of the training value for our soldiers to be able to interact with these local law enforcement and government agencies.” 

Van Pool said the army asked local municipalities to protect the safety and security of the trainings by timing communications appropriately.

Putting out notifications too far in advance may compromise the safety of training events as interested onlookers may put themselves in unsafe positions,” she said.

For these specific trainings in Monroe County, the army requested a reverse 911 message – which is similar to an Amber Alert – be sent to everyone signed up for the service. Instead, residents near the trainings received fliers on Monday.

Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s office says it was aware of the trainings but did not specify how long it had known. The city says it was asked not to make a broad public notification.

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