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The mayor of Port Angeles met with the commander at Joint Base Lewis McChord on Monday about helicopters that buzzed the city Thursday night during a training operation.

Mayor Cherie Kidd said the meeting with Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr was a productive one.

They listened and addressed every one of my concerns, apologized and told me how this was not going to happen again, she said.

The unannounced training flights late Thursday night alarmed residents, woke up children and scared livestock. Startled residents called emergency dispatch operators and said low-flying choppers were circling the city.

I felt our town was being invaded, that's what the residents felt. It was upsetting and disruptive and it shouldn't have happened like that, said Kidd.

Kidd said they spent hours trying to figure out what had happened and eventually the Army confirmed it had been conducting a training exercise with Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters from JBLM.

The mayor wanted to know why they weren't informed about the exercise.

They should have notified us so we could have had a way to communicate and not frighten our citizens, said Kidd.

Kidd invited Hodges to come to the city council meeting Tuesday night to answer questions from the people who were frightend by the military exercise and to explain what will happen in the future to make sure people are notified.

Kidd said Hodges indicated that he would be there and he would bring a written letter of apology.

Coast Guard letter

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