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Nighttime military training in Tinley Park

Updated: May 20, 2013 6:17AM



A military training exercise that will involve low-flying helicopters will swoop into Tinley Park next week.

The “regional urban training” event will include the U.S. Department of Defense and local public safety agencies on Tuesday and Wednesday on the grounds of the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center.

While law enforcement agencies, including the Chicago Police Department and FBI, have conducted training on the center grounds, those exercises have been held during daylight hours.

Next week’s training will start about 9 p.m. each night and continue to about midnight, according to Pat Carr, Tinley Park’s director of emergency management and 911 communications.

Helicopters will use the village’s landing pad just west of the state-owned property and could be flying at treetop level as part of the training, Carr, a 23-year Air Force veteran, said.

Helicopters will try to stay mainly over the industrial areas south of the mental health center, Carr said, but the sound of them flying low “might startle some people” in the area.

He said the drill will also involve the use of concussion, or “flash-bang,” explosive devices inside some of the center’s buildings.

The property will be sealed off during the training, and details of the exercise are not being made public.

While the training has been in the planning stages for months and isn’t in response to any recent events, the bombings at Monday’s Boston Marathon moved up the release of the information, Carr said.

Typically, an announcement of such an event might be made just a day beforehand, he said, but that was quickly reconsidered to give area residents more advance warning.



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