U.S. Special Operations Command training started on August 26 in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. While local news points out the facts that this is happening, it hasn’t covered the why or the cost and risk of this training operation.
I heard that they had closed off part of down St. Paul on 8/29 so I headed down there a little before 10pm. There was an area closed off from the Excel Energy Center north to I-35E. Mostly police maned the blockades. Yellow tape had roped off roads, sidewalks, and entire parking lots.
While walking I watched, or mostly heard, helicopters flying very low overhead. Going down one street I found some plan clothes officials with badges and assault rifles. Being approached by one telling me to turn around, I asked what was going on. He told me that helicopters were landing and taking off. Later talking to a different officer I could hear the low flying helicopter flying directly overhead. Following the sound I could not see the helicopter.
Finally getting to a place where I could attempt to record the events, I watched and listened. I actually got a good glimpse of on as it past in front of a parking ramp giving me a good since of how low it was. It flew about 25 ft above the ground in a non-cordoned off area with no lights. People on pub deck covering their ears searching the sky for the source of the sound.
Also from this vantage point I saw a green targeting “Laser” go from a plane to the ground or vise verse. Also heard what sound like 6 shots fired from 1 gun very rapidly.
Daytime operation video
These maneuvers are dangerous and putting civilians at risk. They are expensive (Black hawk per hour cost is around $5,000.) Should we be spending our money on these risky operations?
Toby Iverson @TshirtToby