On May 8th, Special Operations Soldiers fast roped from Black Hawk helicopters onto the balconies of the abandoned Grand Bay Hotel in Miami, Florida. The training mission simulation a hostage rescue operation asCBS reports:
According to police sources, this is what came down in the mock anti-terror operation: Helicopters dropped Special Operations teams on the Grand Bay to rescue “hostages.” The freed hostages were spirited to nearby Peacock Park where more helicopters delivered them to safety at an undisclosed location.
While the commando raid was going on at the hotel, fighter jets strafed a “terrorist missile site” that had been established at Miami City Hall, across Bayshore Drive.
From the Miami Herald:
“It was quite a shocking experience,” said Jane Muir, who was awakened around 1:45 a.m. by the sound of military choppers that later dropped rappelling soldiers onto the Grand Bay’s rooftop. “It was kind of that bizarre feeling that you were surrounded by wind.”
From her third-floor balcony, Muir then watched the soldiers fire off flares and smoke bombs before searching floor by floor through the darkened hotel, their paths marked by flashlights and the pop-pop-pop of gunshots. “The show of force was so overwhelming,” she said.
The maneuvers were part of a “realistic urban training” exercise for about 100 military personnel, and organized by the U.S. Special Operations Command, said Maj. Michael Burns, a U.S. Army spokesman. The exercise also included three military helicopters, and the use of simulated explosions and gunfire to mimic real-life military scenarios.