Lacey to Yelm

Army special ops training starts Friday, rrrrrruns two weeks

Plan to duck for low-flying 'copters and tilt-rotor aircraft: Dec. 3-17


U.S. Army Special Operations Command are scheduled to conduct "routine military training" at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and two other nearby facilities from Fri., Dec. 3 through Fri., Dec. 17.

Other recent training series have emphasized long-range artillery and bombing. Different from those, this two-week program will include "low-flying helicopters, tilt-rotor aircraft, and airplanes during hours of darkness," according to the public affairs officer at JBLM.  An additional notice stated, "The community can expect to experience an increase in air traffic and noise associated with a large-scale airborne operation."

All branches of the military use specialized variations of the CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, which can take off and land vertically when its engine-propeller modules are rotated from horizontal to vertical. An informal survey of military members and veterans by this reporter concludes that nearly 100 percent of individuals claim these aircraft are "loud as hell"  when taking off or hovering, so residents in east Lacey and eastern parts of Thurston County will likely be able to hear them some of the time.  The craft are "pretty damn quiet" when flown as conventional (fixed wing) aircraft, according to military aviation writer Tyler Rogoway

Press materials from the Army add: "This element of U.S. Army Special Operations Command is a lethal, agile, and versatile special operations force that conducts forcible entry operations and special operations raids across the entire spectrum of combat. Tough, realistic military exercises conducted routinely provide the unit a unique edge for real-world missions.

"This is routine military training conducted periodically to maintain a high level of readiness for the military personnel involved. Every measure to reduce the amount of noise associated with the training will be taken. We appreciate the support of the residents and community in the surrounding areas during this training," according to their statement. 

Besides Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Army says it intends to make use of its Yakima Training Center, in eastern Washington, and Pendleton Airfield, in eastern Oregon during this period. 


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