Uploaded on Jan 27, 2012
Video was captured last night of five military helicopters buzzing over downtown LA, conducting what the LAPD has described as a special ops urban warfare drill.
The footage, captured by CBS Los Angeles, shows a huge Black Hawk helicopter hovering over the US bank building along with four other OH-6 choppers, known as "Little Birds".
CBS reporters noted seeing the Black Hawk conduct a drop off in a nearby park before taking to the sky above LA again.
The helicopters, staged at Dodger Stadium throughout the exercise, were later spotted flying low over the Staples Center as the LA Lakers played inside.
Former U.S. Army aviator David Duran was told CBS affiliate KCAL9 News that the training is likely a dry run for a future mission.
"They do a lot of mockup training," said Duran. "But it's always best to get the closest terrain layout to what the objective is."
"If it's a mountainous terrain, they go to the mountains; if it's a desert terrain, they use the desert; if they're in a coastal terrain, they use the coast," said Duran. "If it's an urban terrain, you know, whatever's needed."
As we highlighted Wednesday, a statement issued Monday by the LAPD, says that the exercises, closed to the public, are "designed to ensure the military's ability to operate in urban environments, prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments, and meet mandatory training certification requirements."
Training sites "have been carefully selected to ensure the event does not negatively impact the citizens of Los Angeles and their daily routine," a department spokesperson said.
The drill is set to continue through Thursday.
The exercise is yet another in a spate of recent military drills to hit heavily populated areas throughout the country.
Back in April last year, residents of Brickell, Miami witnessed at least three large Black Hawk-like helicopters conducting military exercises over their heads. Some initially believed it was a movie shoot.