An urban-style military training caused damage after a Blackhawk helicopter’s rotor wash dislodged bricks from an historic building.

Sperry’s Landmark, Inc., a closed department store in Port Huron, Michigan, was the site of a military exercise that involved two Blackhawk helicopters.

As the aircraft approached, “Rotor wash from a helicopter caused damage to the brick veneer along the roof line which fell and caused damage to the awning,” according to Army spokesman Randee Farrell.


Farrell says Port Huron was one of several locations in Michigan where helicopters dropped soldiers off at vacant buildings “that had training scenarios set up inside.”

“The training is aimed at equipping soldiers with urban environment experience to help prepare for overseas deployment,” the Times Herald reports.

According to the paper:

The soldiers ran from the helicopter into the building where a training scenario was set up. The helicopters vacated the area once the soldiers were inside and returned an hour later after the training mission was complete to retrieve the soldiers.

As the training progressed Sunday night, simulated, nonlethal ammunition sounded and lights in each room of the old school administration building went on and off as soldiers progressed through the building. The helicopters were not equipped with any weapons.

Video showed helicopters approaching the former Port Huron school district administration building and troops inside.

Larry Jones, owner of the Sperry’s building, says he was contacted a couple months ago about using his building and he obliged.

“Our police force and fire department and military risk their lives for us everyday … and in order for them to do the great job that they do they have to do training,” he says.

“We were very excited and still am very proud of the training and knowledge they can get from these missions.”