Military forces landed a number of planes on a rural Michigan roadway Thursday in what was described as a first-ever “drill.”
Video posted by the Michigan Department of Transportation showed an A-10 Warthog taking off from state highway M-32:
For the first time in recent history, US Air Force takes its aircraft out onto highways in US for an exercise. Four A-10C Warthog attack aircraft and a pair of C-146A Wolfhound special operations transports take part in the road-landing drill in Michigan State Highway on Aug. 5. https://t.co/w2RLbhbQum
— Ryan Chan 陳家翹 (@ryankakiuchan) August 5, 2021
Two C-146A Wolfhound special operations transports reportedly also took part. Six planes total participated.
Thomas Berriman, a local school principal, said the Michigan Air National Guard has done “a lot of strange drills” in the area.
It was by the Michigan Air National Guard. They have done a lot of strange drills during Northern Strike. A few years ago they landed troops from helicopters in one of our local quarries. Simply a drill with different aircraft to assess the ability of the planes and roads.
— Thomas Berriman (@TBerriman) August 5, 2021
WBKB reports the series of drills were “successful”.
“Very excited,” Alpena City Fire Risk Reduction Officer Andy Marceau told the news station. “Very excited to be a part of it, and the collaboration and the cooperation amongst all the entities that came together.”
In 2015, a building was damaged in downtown Port Huron during another military exercise.
Sperry’s Landmark, Inc., a closed department store, was the site of a military exercise that involved two Blackhawk helicopters.
As the aircraft approached, “Rotor wash from a helicopter caused damage to the brick veneer along the roof line which fell and caused damage to the awning,” according to Army spokesman Randee Farrell, The American Mirror reported at the time.
“The training is aimed at equipping soldiers with urban environment experience to help prepare for overseas deployment,” the Times Herald reported.
According to the paper:
The soldiers ran from the helicopter into the building where a training scenario was set up. The helicopters vacated the area once the soldiers were inside and returned an hour later after the training mission was complete to retrieve the soldiers.
As the training progressed Sunday night, simulated, nonlethal ammunition sounded and lights in each room of the old school administration building went on and off as soldiers progressed through the building. The helicopters were not equipped with any weapons.
Video showed helicopters approaching the former Port Huron school district administration building and troops inside.