Fears ‘madman was running about with a machine gun’ allayed after RAF revelation – Portsmouth News

fears-‘madman-was-running-about-with-a-machine-gun’-allayed-after-raf-revelation-–-portsmouth-news

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Concerned residents took to social media to voice their concerns after helicopters and gun fire were heard over the Alverstoke and Haslar area yesterday night.

The RAF has confirmed a chinook helicopter was involved in an exercise.

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A chinook.

One local, posting on a Gosport Facebook group, said: ‘First the police helicopter then automatic gun fire, several rounds, the helicopter then made a hasty retreat until 30 odd minutes later an army helicopter came over doing a sweep of the area? Not the norm for Gosport or even Portsmouth.’

He added: ‘It was worrying thinking there was a madman running about with a machine gun. I understand that training shouldn't just be 9-5 but the first helicopter was so low and so loud it was almost landing on our bungalow roof.

‘When the chinook then came over well past midnight it woke us up again so it was worrying.’

Another said: ‘I heard the helicopters. Thought it was some sort of rescue.’

Others were less sympathetic to the plight of residents. One said: ‘Some of you on this thread need to give your head a wobble. If this was every week or a very regular occurrence then I may have a small element of sympathy.

‘This exercises are no doubt important, and giving the best training service to the troops is the priority not the peace and quiet of some Facebook complainers.’

Police indicated they were not in the area last night.

An RAF spokesman confirmed the exercise. ‘An RAF chinook helicopter, from 7 Squadron, RAF Odiham in Hampshire, was conducting routine operational training in the Alverstoke and Haslar area yesterday evening,’ he said.

The RAF and chinook helicopter crews use a variety of training areas around the whole of the UK for training and vary their routes and training locations to maximise training benefit.

Recently our Aircraft have been training in the Bristol, Wales, Birmingham, Wirral, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh areas as well as across the south and south east of England.

‘Such training areas enable RAF crews to train in varied environments in preparation for operations in the UK and across the globe,’ the spokesman added.

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