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Night chopper flights over L.A. are tied to military training

Since June 15, Blackhawk helicopter pilots have been practicing dives and climbs around the city to prepare for assignments overseas. The sessions end Saturday.

June 26, 2009|Richard Winton and Dan Weikel

Late-night military helicopter flights over downtown Los Angeles this week are part of training exercises to familiarize military personnel with urban settings and prepare them for future assignments overseas, authorities said.

The Black Hawk helicopters, which have appeared nightly for almost a week, have attracted the attention of residents as they hovered over downtown landmarks like City Hall, or maneuvered quickly between office skyscrapers on Bunker Hill. Though many residents speculated that the diving and climbing helicopters were part of a movie shoot, authorities confirmed Wednesday that they were part of a joint exercise.

A brief notice saying the Los Angeles Police Department would be supporting an urban military exercise was posted on the department's official blog.

The notice says the exercises started June 15 and are scheduled to end Saturday, and that they will occur throughout Los Angeles.

Authorities said training sites and times have been selected so they do not disrupt the daily routines of businesses and residents. Safety precautions have also been taken to protect the public and military personnel.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

dan.weikel@latimes.com

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