[credit provider=”CBS” url=”http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/01/25/lapd-and-special-forces-conduct-military-maneuvers-in-the-skies-above-downtown-la/”]
Five U.S. military helicopters were spotted flying low over the streets of Los Angeles late last night, as part of a tactical exercise coordinated with the Los Angeles Police Department.According to CBS, one Black Hawk helicopter and four smaller OH-6 Little Birds flew from the U.S. Bank building downtown to the Staples centre, where the Lakers were playing below.
After lingering above the game, the Black Hawk was later seen making a hasty drop-off in a nearby park.
The LAPD said the training exercises, designed to boost the military’s urban operation skills, would continue throughout the city on Thursday.
The Sikorsky Black Hawk is one of the most common transport helicocpters in the U.S. military with numerous configurations and weapons packages. The Sikorsky replaced the UH-1 Huey, made popular during Vietnam and can hold an 11-person, fully-equipped infantry squad.
The Little Birds are a more specialised light attack helicopter that’s widely used by the U.S. Army Special Forces. These are the same choppers that went into Mogadishu in 1993. They’re highly responsive and their small size allows them to slip in and out of conflicts more easily than the larger Black Hawk. With a top speed of 175 miles per hour and a range of 267 miles, the Little Bird is regularly used to transport special forces teams.
LAPD said the operations were for training the military to operate in urban environments, and that there are more missions to come.