We’re making a little more progress finding out more about this week’s training mission featuring Blackhawk helicopters over Minneapolis.
The U.S. Special Operations Command was in charge of the operation. Its mission changed after 9/11, its website says, to a “responsibility for synchronizing Department of Defense plans against global terrorist networks and, as directed, conducting global operations. USSOCOM receives, reviews, coordinates and prioritizes all DoD plans that support the global campaign against terror and then makes recommendations to the Joint Staff regarding force and resource allocations to meet global requirements.”
Kenneth McGraw, a spokesman for USSOCOM, answers some of the questions.
Q: Who’s involved in the helicopters? Are they all special ops or are local police physically in them too?
A: All the personnel on board the helicopters were US Special Operations Command service members.
Q: Is the training for USSOCO forces or for local authorities?
A: The training is being conducted in coordination with local authorities, but it is for USSOCOM service members not local authorities.
Q: What was the scenario being used last evening?
A: We do not have that information available for release.
Q: Your press release mentioned previous training before the helicopters were brought in; was this training also in downtown Minneapolis?
A: Training conducted before the training with helicopters was conducted in multiple locations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Q: Why Minneapolis?
A: US Special Operations Command units conduct this type of training in cities all over the US. It is routine training for our units. Our units are always looking for new places to train that simulate the challenges they may face operating in urban areas.
Training in different areas using different types of buildings and structures give them the opportunity to constantly refine their tactics, techniques and procedures. Minneapolis/Saint Paul is an area in which we have not previously conducted training.
I should’ve made that question, Why not Saint Paul?