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Army special ops will bring nights of helicopters, planes and gunfire to JBLM

Members of the 62nd Civil Engineer Squadron, pack up after installing the new Joint Base Lewis-McChord sign at the entrance of the base Sunday. (Abner Guzman/U.S. Air Force)

You might not see them, but the night sky around Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be filled with the sound of helicopters, planes and gunfire starting Friday as special ops forces conduct training exercises.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command will be training at JBLM and Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane Friday through Nov. 4., the Army announced Thursday.

The training will increase air traffic and noise around JBLM from what is described as a large-scale, airborne operation. Low-flying helicopters, tilt-rotor aircraft and airplanes will operate under the cover of darkness.

To make the training as realistic as possible, the Army said, soldiers will use training ammunition and “other devices.”

“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,” the Army said in a statement. “Tough, realistic military exercises conducted routinely provide the unit a unique edge for real-world missions.”

The Army said it will take every measure possible to reduce noise during the exercise.

The public cannot view the operations, the Army said.


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