Residents of Phoenix were startled last night when multiple low-flying choppers soared through the city and dropped black-clad figures onto the roof of a downtown structure.
Unbeknownst to Phoenicians, some of whom feared the incident was related to the Paris terror attacks, the actions were part of a military exercise carried out with the blessing of the Phoenix Police Department.
Claiming they received “a lot of calls” from confused and concerned people questioning helicopter noise, ABC15 reports the aircraft were part of a covert military drill centered around the Sandra Day O’Connor federal courthouse in central Phoenix.
— Ross Simon (@Ross_Simon) November 20, 2015
“Some of the helicopters had blinking lights, while others were completely dark,” ABC15 notes.
Several roads near the courthouse were blocked off as passersby stopped and stared in amazement.
— Eric English (@EricEnglish15) November 20, 2015
“It was all quiet and then all of a sudden a big wave, we saw helicopter after helicopter just coming in,” reports ABC15.
In reality, the Phoenix Police Chief says citizens had nothing to fear as the drill had been in the works for months.
“These military practices are planned months in advance for safety reasons,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Jonathon Howard told the ABC affiliate. “There’s a reason it was done here at 9 o’clock at night and we had the roads shut down.”
Earlier this month, residents along the West Coast were also shocked when the US Navy tested ballistic missiles near San Diego.