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The sight of Army helicopters and the sound of gunfire created a lot of concern Monday afternoon in one Houston neighborhood.
We received a lot of phones calls, Tweets and Facebook posts from worried neighbors, wondering what was going on.
SkyEye 13 HD was over the south side where at first look, it appeared there was a massive SWAT scene happening.
With military helicopters flying above her southeast Houston neighborhood, Frances Jerrals didn't know what to think.
"When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst," Jerrals said.
And so, she passed along her concern.
"She told me 'don't come home it sounds like we're in a war zone. Guns, shooting, helicopters flying around the house,'" Isaac Robertson Jr. said.
The U.S. Army along with other agencies took over the old Carnegie Vanguard High School near Scott and Airport. There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds
"I felt like I was in a warzone." Jerrals said. "It was nonstop. I was terrified."
Turns out, it was a multi-agency training drill that Jerrals wished would have come with warning.
"They could have done a better job in notifying the neighborhood," Jerrals said.
The Army did not give any details of what the training is for. Some people we spoke to needed no explanation.
"If it's to protect our kids, I'm all for it," neighbor Glenn DeWitt said.
This is very upsetting, to say the least. Blackhawks firing blanks at civilians and causing a school to go into lockdown mode. As a officer, it appalls me and as a American citizen, it scares the hell out of me! It seems as though it's an exercise in desensitizing our military to fire on American citizens. Mark my words, this will probably happen before Obama leaves office. If you voted for him, so shall you sow, so shall you reap.
You'd think they'd at least notify local responders and area residents. Piss poor communication -- or maybe they want it that way...
I too believe this is a softening to was is to become the norm. Seeing military presence in our streets, being frisked and held by the military without charges being brought, etc. It may sound paranoid, but did you ever think that Blackhawks would fire blanks in an American city in the first place? Think about this, the military train for upcoming missions and probable contingencies, just like the fire service. Why would they train for such things if it was not going to be deployed? It would be like a civilian training to be a firefighter just in case their house catches fire. They are doing this training for a reason!
There was another drill in Galveston on 30-Jan-2013 (one day after Houston drill) with an Army unit from Fort Bragg, NC. ABC writes ... "According to the Galveston County Daily News, the Army is using the old jail on 17th Street for a night drill in urban warfare. ... This announcement comes a day after the Army and Houston police apologized for not giving advance warning of a joint training exercise in southeast Houston. ... The Army says it did notify the office of the city's public safety director, but the message never got out. ..." That makes 3 in January -- these 2 in TX and 1 in Miami, FL on the 21st.