GALVESTON — The old Galveston County Jail will become an urban warfare training ground tonight.
The U.S. Army will use the facility to conduct night training, so residents of the island’s East End and Texas City might see military personnel and possibly a helicopter landing on the roof. They might hear gunfire and explosions, too.
The county agreed to lease the old jail at 715 19th Street and the county’s parking garage for $4,000, according to an Army license agreement. County officials could not disclose exactly what type of training will take place, but according to the license agreement, the Army detachment conducting the training is from Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the Army’s famed 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment, better known as Delta Force.
The Daily News confirmed that other unnamed government agencies would also take part in the training session. While the exercises will take place all day, most of the action will happen at night.
The most noticeable part of the training will include a MH-6 Little Bird helicopter, which is used by the Army’s Delta Force and the U.S. Navy’s Seal Team VI.
The joint-force training will be similar to the exercises the Army conducted Monday in southeast Houston at the old Carnegie Vanguard High School. Residents near that abandoned school were unaware of what was happening, so the training unnerved many of the neighbors.
County officials said the Army said personnel would be going door-to-door to inform residents of the training session. Because the training is a controlled exercise, there will be law enforcement personnel on site to keep people away.
The Army's training won't be limited to Galveston. Texas City emergency management officials said they were notified the military exercises would also include training at the old P.H. Robinson power plant on state Highway 146.
The drill will include some low flying helicopters as part of the training, city Emergency Management Coordinator Bruce Clawson said.