US army helicopters spotted in the skies of Downtown Chicago
The Windy City’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday it is providing support for “routine military training exercises,” including flying helicopters in the downtown area of the city at night.
However, it seems that the official statement didn't calm down Chicago citizens as plenty of people took to Twitter about what they saw or heard.
Many were claiming that “it’s been an all-night invasion.”
One woman shared her rage onFacebook: “Blackhawk helicopters flying over my condo in the Loop, and all news stations are covering the royal birth, what’s up?”
In July, a similar army exercise was conducted in Port Angeles, Washington, that turned the small city into a simulated war zone and terrorized residents. Frightened citizens flooded the police with phone calls complaining about low flying Chinook helicopters.
Resident Richard Lord said he was concerned about the military's presence over the city and the lack of notification.
“We're all wondering why we're being treated this way,” Lord said.
Cherie Kidd, mayor of the Olympic Peninsula city about 60 miles west of Seattle, added that "no one had any warning about the helicopters, no one said anything afterward, and today city officials had to spend hours just trying to find out what had happened - who had invaded Port Angeles."
In January, the US Army along with other agencies took over the Carnegie Vanguard High School in Houston, Texas. Alarmed residents called police and complained about gunshots and helicopters.
Commenting on the so-called 'training exercise' resident Frances Jerrals said: "When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst."
"I felt like I was in a warzone." Jerrals added. "It was nonstop. I was terrified."
Another resident Isaac Robertson Jr. said "it sounds like we're in a war zone. Guns, shooting, helicopters flying around the house".
Early this year another training exercise “designed to ensure that military personnel are able to operate in urban areas and to focus on preparations for overseas deployment” rattled residents of Miami, Florida. The exercise included simulated machine gun fire over a downtown Miami freeway.
In addition to increased military exercises, the federal government and the United States Northern Command announced the deployment of military units for domestic homeland security missions.
Current US military preparations for suppressing domestic civil disturbance, including the training of National Guard troops and police, are part of a long history of American "internal security" measures dating back to the first American Revolution.
Generally, these measures seek to thwart the aims of social justice movements, embodying the concept that within the civilian body politic lurks an enemy that one day the military might have to fight, or at least be ordered to fight.