This story has been updated.
As the U.S. Army’s nighttime training exercises conclude in San Antonio on Wednesday night, calls to the San Antonio Police Department have been few, but for residents in close proximity to the exercises, there’s no ignoring the sounds of helicopters flying overhead.
Since the training began Monday night, SAPD said it had not received complaints. However, residents in San Antonio’s urban core have heard the thrum of low-flying helicopters, shaking houses and rattling windows, during the training, which will continue outside the city Thursday and Friday night.
One Lavaca resident posted on the NextDoor social media app that an old window in their home broke due to vibrations of low-flying helicopters. In the post, the resident recommended neighbors in the surrounding area avoid standing near their windows during the exercises in case the glass should break.
“I recommend all who have old windows to avoid them during hours of 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. for the next week or so, especially if you have kids or pets that sleep next to windows,” wrote the resident. “Better to be safe than sorry.”
SAPD on Wednesday said the military would be responsible for broken windows or any other property damage.
“We definitely don’t want to cause any damage to any residents in San Antonio,” said Lt. Col. Mike Burns, director for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, in a written statement.
Burns said residents who experience damage to property should report it to the special operations command at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although residents will hear helicopters and other noises associated with the training, Burns stated that the training is routine and that troops are not actually being deployed.
“Generally though, all training is representative of some level of a warfighting skill or mission enhancement,” said Burns.
The city first notified residents of the expected training on Saturday and said they might see or hear low-flying helicopters, simulated gunfire and controlled explosions. Training to enhance soldiers’ skills consists of air and ground mobility operations and close-quarter combat training.
SAPD said the training wouldn’t have direct contact with the community. A press release Tuesday said the city and police department did not receive any calls regarding the military exercises.
The city said training will continue in San Antonio through Wednesday from about 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Training will continue through Friday outside of the city, and not in San Antonio, said SAPD.
Police officers also visited door-to-door Saturday around the immediate areas training would take place to notify residents and businesses about the training taking place this week, officials said.
Some residents also received text messages from SAPD seeking to reassure them: “This is just training. … Both the US Army & SAPD appreciate your understanding and apologize for any disturbances.”
This story has been updated to clarify that residents were notified of the exercises on Saturday, and that the training in the downtown area will conclude Wednesday night. The training will continue outside San Antonio on Thursday and Friday.