Richland deputies, U.S. military carry out secretive – and noisy – joint exercise Monday and Tuesday

jmonk@thestate.comJanuary 19, 2014 

— Richland County sheriff’s deputies on Monday and Tuesday will conduct a secretive joint exercise around the county with unidentified units from Ft. Bragg, according to the sheriff’s department.

The exercises will run up to midnight both days and be primarily in Lower Richland, around Eastover and Hopkins.

Exercises will also conducted around the Screaming Eagle Road near Elgin and North Richland County near outbound Monticello Road.

Ft. Bragg is home to some of the U.S. Army’s elite fighting groups, including Special Forces, aviation support and airborne units. The Army’s Delta Force is also at Ft. Bragg.

A sheriff’s department spokesman Sunday declined to say which Ft. Bragg units will be involved. Reporters will not be allowed to “view or participate” in the exercise.

It will be noisy at times.

“Citizens may see military and departmental vehicles traveling in and around rural and metropolitan areas and may hear ordnance being set off or fired which will be simulated/ blanks and controlled by trained personnel,” a sheriff’s department press release said. .

The release said that, “Due to Sheriff Leon Lott's longstanding commitment to making sure that deputies are trained and prepared for every event and potential threat and his desire to assist the military to ensure their preparations;” the joint exercise is being held.

Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344

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