Published on The Boston Globe, by Amanda Cedrone, August 4, 20911.
Some Boston residents have been surprised to see helicopters making unusual maneuvers around the city in recent days. No worries, according to officials. It’s only a drill. Special forces have been conducting “urban environment training” exercises in and around Boston in the past two weeks, said Kimberly Tiscione, a military spokesman.
The training is for the U.S. Special Operations Command, based in MacDill, Fla., which includes units such as the Army’s Green Berets and the Navy SEALs. The training began July 25 and will end Friday and is meant to challenge military personnel by exposing them to an area they are unfamiliar with – such as a city.
“This adds an element of realism in a challenge,” Tiscione said. Tiscione added that the military trains its personnel to be ready for any situation they may encounter overseas … //
… Last week, the Louis Agassiz Elementary School building was used as one of several training locations. Other locations have not been released due to safety reasons. Police have been present during each drill to ensure the safety of citizens where the drills take place.
Military personnel do not use ammunition, and instead use what is called “simunition,” similar to paintballs, Tiscione said. “The folks we’ve been working with have been absolutely wonderful from the very beginning,” Tiscione said. “And everyone in and around Boston has been incredibly supportive, and we really appreciate it.” (full text).
(Question: What if the military trains its personnel to be ready for any situation they may encounter in the homeland)?