SAN ANTONIO – Military City, USA has looked more like a city at war this week with daily military training exercises in the downtown San Antonio area.
Those near designated training locations have seen or heard low-flying helicopters, simulated gunfire, explosions, and troops running downtown.
The U.S. Army has been conducting the training in designated locations around San Antonio each night from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. from Tuesday to Friday.
The training exercises consist of air and ground mobility operations and close-quarter combat training to enhance soldiers’ skills by operating in a realistic environment.
Some homeowners said their homes were shaking, and a few received damage.
“It just hear this ‘ba ba ba ba,’ and I go, ‘What is that?’ and two at the same time, and then two more. I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’” Christina Cerda told KSAT 12.
Going into night four of training, most residents in the area KSAT spoke with said they now know what to expect. Regardless, some say the low-flying helicopters are still nerve-wracking.
“I’m not going to lie. That was a little scary because it really did shake the house pretty hard,” said Nancy Plaza, who told KSAT she has an older home.
“I know this one was built in 1930, and not much has been done,” Plaza said.
Resident Maria Jimenez said her home is over a century old.
“More than a hundred years. They’re low. That’s why I could feel it,” she said.
The women’s homes were not damaged. However, one of their neighbors’ homes had a window shattered.
The man living in the home with the shattered window said he believes the power generated from the low-flying helicopters rattled his house and window to the point where his window broke. He said he wasn’t too worried about the issue and would pay the cost to fix it.
Even with the inconvenience of the training exercises, most people we spoke to said they were OK with the military getting their practice.
“They’re really cool. I like it. My dad was military,” said Plaza.
“They have to do what they have to do,” said Jimenez.
KSAT emailed the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office to ask about the damage to some people’s homes and received the following response:
“We are grateful for the hospitality and assistance from the City of San Antonio, as well the San Antonio Police Department. The exercises have gone as planned. Operating in different environments provide new and unique training experiences. San Antonio provides an unfamiliar environment that offers more realism and greater training value. This training allows our service members to better prepare for real-world missions in support of the nation. We certainly apologize for any damage that is caused by our training. Residents who would like to report any damage should contact the U.S. Army Special Operations command via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”