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Army Apologizes for Terrorizing Washington City

Friday, July 12, 2013 18:11
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An Army officer apologized for Army helicopters with spotlights conducting an unannounced training mission in Port Angeles after the city’s mayor said residents felt “terrorized” by the unannounced mission.

“I apologize, this is totally unacceptable,” said Army Col. Charles Hodges. “At the very least we should have notified local authorities of the exercise.”

The helicopters, four CH-47 Chinooks, flew low over Port Angeles in Washington state on July 11 from about 11:15 p.m. to midnight, according to the Peninsula Daily News, which spoke to Hodges. The training exercise included Blackhawk attack helicopters. Army officials wouldn’t give details about the mission. 

The local police recieved dozens of calls about the helicopters.

“They terrorized my city,” Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd said on Friday. “I want to hold people accountable for this so it doesn’t happen again.”

Kidd is going to meet with Hodges. Hodges said an investigation has been launched and was going to meet with unit commanders at the Joint Base Fort Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, about 90 miles south of Port Angeles. 

Another Army official was unapologetic.

“We do our best to try to avoid populated areas, but [with] those aircraft being so large and so loud, even if we’re not very low, it seems very loud,” said Army Major Michael Burns. “With helicopters, we cover such a wide area, it’s tough to notify every agency.”

Local resident Eric Phillips, who lives at the corner of Liberty Street and Georgiana Street in Port Angeles, said he saw four helicopters traveling in two sets, with one set flying without lights. The “heavy, military helicopters” were “spotlighting in town,” he said, including circling the city for at least 30 minutes.



Top: A CH-47 Chinook helicopter during a training exercise in May. (US Defense Department)

Bottom: The Joint Base Fort Lewis-McChord (point A), where helicopters that “terrorized” Port Angeles, a Washington city, flew from on July 11, 2013. Point B is Port Angeles (Google Maps)

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Total 20 comments
  • Болеслава

    If they’re sorry why did they do it in the first place?

  • TruthandFreedom

    It’s simple stop training as if Americans are the terrorists! I say any base playing these war games on American citizens should be defunded and shut down!

    • ppiklapp

      Better yet, every man, woman and child in that town should get $100,000 in compensation for this idiotic deployment over their town. That would get the military to defund this sort of training in a hurry.

  • DevotedDad

    Oh great, another “investigation”.

    Boy do I feel so good knowing:

    Benghazi, The IRS, Fast and Furious, Spying on the American people, Spying on the Press, Blackmailing Supreme Court Judges, and God knows what else is being “INVESTIGATED”.

    I am almost forgot, The FBI executing a man whom they were interviewing whom jsut stated he felt he was going to be killed by them.

    Of course we cannot, know or ask any questions until the “Investigation” is over…

    Wink, wink… :grin:

  • wizard

    Well resistance was low and complaints were minimal.
    Looks like the cattle will be willing to accept the next wave of
    freedom restrictions. Roll out the usual rebuttals and let it blow over.
    They will have forgotten all in a few days.

  • Ex LA Lady

    The title of the story reads, ……..California City. However, apparently the action took place in Port Angeles, Washington. That’s a pretty blatant error!!!

  • iamdlogan

    Since when did we EVER allow the military to Train in US CITIES…when I was in the military we TRAINED on BASE and NEVER in a US CITY…WHERE in the SAM HILL does it say in the constitution that the MILITARY is allowed to train in US CITIES, or even OVER THEM…Heaven Help us…THE TIN FOIL HAT PEOPLE ARE RIGHT…the government is totally out of control, and we are not even concerned. Someday we will pay the price for the freedoms that we have given up and for the apathy that we are all guilty of.

    • UniversalSage12

      Correct me if i am mistaken good Sir, but from what I understand, according to the Constitution, we are only allowed to hold a Naval standing force during peacetime.

      Perhaps that is why we are constantly involved in some form of war (aside from many other ulterior motives of course)?

  • retiredpatriot

    you should hear it on the army base all night flying over military housing 24/7

  • Blanca Botwin

    How did this happen in a California City, when it states it happened in Washington? Make up your mind.Don’t make the headline about California, so I click on it, then read the article to find out it was really in Washington :mad:

    • jmd343

      Does it really matter ?


    They are trying us out to see how things go.

    They are not stupid, they know what they do.

    Now the people in that area know what to expect when they (army) decide to really do it.

    I just hope the men and women wearing the uniforms have the heart to not shoot innocent civilians.

    • Village-idiot

      It’s not the military that’s getting the hollow-point ammunition; it’s the NSA and the police. The military are running short of ammunition.
      See a pattern here?

  • Scared Soldier

    What mindless military twerp would even consider that as acceptable? Sheesh!

    Of course it was a “test” too bad some vigilant citizen did not take a potshot and teach a lesson as well.

    Damned Communists! (If it were 50 years ago that is exactly what people would have thought!)

  • BarleyWheets

    They wanting to make us feel afraid.. terriorized so.. that when the REAL thing happens Martial law.. we will be good little sheeples.. and do as we are ordered…!! WE NEED to defend ourselves.. when those bright helicopter lights shine in your window .. shoot the lights OUT.. !! When they fly overhead.. 5 feet from the roof of your home .. shoot their engines out. That will slow them down a bit and make them double think… their terriorism tactics.

  • BarleyWheets

    ITS against the law!!!!!
    The government is trying to get us use to military intervention so when they come to attack us.. we will be melincoly about it but it still is against the law! the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, (18 U.S.C. 1385), often cited as a barrier to domestic military activity. The Act reads as follows: “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than two years or both.”

  • Patriot

    I doubt it was an accident or that they did not willfully ignore the idea of contacting the local mayor & authorities. If you don’t ask, they can’t say “No!”, right?

    • tsimitpo

      It wasn’t a question of asking permission – they were going to do it anyway. The only question was whether or not to notify in advance – which would have fallen short of their objective.

  • Anonymous

    Damn lucky the local militia wasn’t organized enough to respond to an unannounced threat. Could have been innocent service men injured or killed because of the stupidity of their commanders.

  • G Dog

    “it’s tough to notify every agency.” Give me a freaken break, what a moron. People need to wake up!! This crap is getting SO out of hand.

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