Due to the calming effects of gin, I was not woken up early on Tuesday morning by the military training exercise that was taking place in the recently
abandoned closed Grand Bay hotel on Bayshore.
According to news reports, helicopters were hovering overhead, men in black were fast roping onto the roof before abseiling onto the balconies and clearing rooms one by one looking for hostages and taking out the pretend bad guys!
There were a lot of blanks fired, flashbangs and shouting from the army trainees. A helicopter landed in Peacock park and the marines (or whoever) made their way back with the hostages.
This was a minor inconvenience to the folk in Coconut Grove and all preparation is essential. To paraphrase honest Abe Lincoln; if you have 8 hours to chop down a tree, spend the first six sharpening your axe.
I wish I had of known, I would have loved to volunteer to be a hostage or at least see all the action but I understand why a lot of locals were not informed in advance as crowds would have gathered. My jaw did drop at this comment on the news site linked above:
This was absolutely insane to do right next to the Ritz Carlton where wealthy residents live and vacationers spend a lot of money. During the training, several men were escorted out of the building wearing what appeared to be white coats, something Arab’s wear. Then they were taken aside while the training took place. Why are we training to combat Arabs in The Grove. We sail here, leave the military operations in another neighborhood
Does this commentator believe that operations like this (which they are practicing for) only ever happen in socially deprived areas. All training is essential. I live about 5 minutes walk from the hotel on Tigertail and I didn’t hear a thing. What does wake me up though are cars with their awful music blaring at 3am as they speed and rev their engines down Tigertail.
Maybe before the Grand Hotel is razed to the ground, the owners will allow folk in to play with paintball guns. We could have our own reenactment (without the abseiling and helicopters). That would be a lot of fun I would imagine.
Anyway, I am off to hustle around Europe for a couple of months. I’ll take in a little Euro 2012, some Olympics, Bloomsday, get a little work done around the old homestead before making my way back to the Grove in August.
The security preparation in London for the Olympics is astounding and it is the essential preparation for all eventualities like Grovites experienced on Tuesday morning that will keep spectators, athletes and visitors safe to enjoy the Olympics.
See ya’ll in August.