Local News

82nd Airborne exercises shake up homes, loud aircraft heard on election night near Holly Springs

Posted November 4, 2020 6:49 p.m. EST
Updated November 5, 2020 2:59 p.m. EST

Paratroopers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Divsion fire artilery rounds on November 4, 2020, Fort Bragg, NC. 82nd Airborne Division is dedicated to excellent mission execution. (US Army photo by Pvt. Vincent A. Levelev)

— On Tuesday night, dozens of locals began posting on social media about the strange sound of loud, low-flying aircraft rattling homes near Holly Springs, Apex and Clayton.

Social media buzzed with people asking whether or not Ft. Bragg was having a training exercise – or who else could be responsible for all of the commotion.

Exercise Panther Storm 2 involved dropping heavy vehicles, ammunition and artillery. Image courtesy of 82nd Airborne Division

"Exercise Panther Storm 2 kicked off last night with a bang," said Lt. Col. Mike Burns, Public Affairs Officer for the 82nd Airborne Division.

Last night’s operations included air assault and airborne operation of more than 900 personnel, heavy dropped equipment and a lot of Paratroopers getting great training on their combat mission.

Exercise Panther Storm 2 involved dropping heavy vehicles, ammunition and artillery. Image courtesy of 82nd Airborne Division

On social media, people were checking out the Flightradar24 app to try and determine who was flying around.

"I was in Fuquay around 7:30 tonight and heard 3-4 planes flying really low," said Brian S. Craig.

Debb Kiser said she heard many helicopters out near Clayton, that she said sounded like they were heading in the direction of Raleigh.

Rob Rousseau said, "I had like 10 fly over my house."

Exercise Panther Storm 2 involved dropping heavy vehicles, ammunition and artillery. Image courtesy of 82nd Airborne Division

Today, the mystery is over. The aircraft were part of "Panther Storm 2," which Burns describes as, "a combined arms, brigade-level force-on-force training exercise conducted by the 3rd Brigade Combat Team."

He said the exercise provides Paratroopers the opportunity to conduct a night time joint forcible entry with a follow on airfield seizure.

"They also heavy dropped vehicles, ammunition and artillery pieces," he said, which could explain some of the loud noises.

Exercise Panther Storm 2 involved dropping heavy vehicles, ammunition and artillery. Image courtesy of 82nd Airborne Division

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