No More Large-Scale Military Exercises Near Raleigh, City Manager Says

An instructor observes students in the Special Operations Combat Medic Course assess and treat a patient at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School during training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina Jan. 23, 2019. Enlisted service members who completed the course specialize in trauma management, infectious diseases, cardiac life support and surgical procedures, with a basic understanding of veterinary medicine and dental medicine. (K. Kassens/U.S. Army)
An instructor observes students in the Special Operations Combat Medic Course assess and treat a patient at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School during training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina Jan. 23, 2019. Enlisted service members who completed the course specialize in trauma management, infectious diseases, cardiac life support and surgical procedures, with a basic understanding of veterinary medicine and dental medicine. (K. Kassens/U.S. Army)

RALEIGH -- City Manager Ruffin Hall says Raleigh likely will not host future military exercises on the same scale as the one conducted Thursday night that upset nearby residents.

"Upon review and lessons learned, I would not approve an exercise of this scale and disruption adjacent to a neighborhood in the future," he said in a statement released by the city. "The exercise turned out to be louder and more disruptive to the nearby neighborhood than the City anticipated given our understanding of the proposed conditions."

The U.S. Army held a training exercise at the abandoned Capital Plaza Hotel on Capital Boulevard just north of the Beltline.

The Army notified residents living in the nearby Brentwood neighborhood about the exercises, which started at about 11:45 p.m., said Raleigh spokeswoman Donna-maria Harris.

Residents complained on social media that the exercise included helicopters and training explosives that created loud booms, The N&O previously reported.

Hall's statement said Raleigh police provided support for emergency services, door-to-door visits by U.S. Army staff with nearby residents, traffic control, coordinating the media response and briefing of 911 Emergency Communications Center staff.

"City of Raleigh staff were focused on the safety and well-being of the citizens and nearby residents at all times," he said in the statement. "Raleigh has a long-standing partnership with U.S. military agencies to work together on training opportunities for the benefit to public safety personnel."

Hall said the Army does not generally publicize these exercises "to avoid attracting large numbers of spectators."

The hotel property was chosen because of its unique condition and urban location, Hall's statement said. The exercise was led and managed by U.S. Army Special Operations staff.

"Training is a necessary and critical element to building successful service operations, especially in public safety functions," said Hall, who said in the statement he approved the city's participation. "I support training efforts and the critical partnerships that grow from working together. Last night's exercise was one example of the partnership." 

This article is written by Joe Johnson from The News & Observer and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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