If you thought the explosions heard around Camp Atterbury seemed a little louder in the past weeks, you are right.
Artillery training is underway, in a big way, this summer, something that hasn’t happened for a number of years.
And the booms that shake the windows and disrupt some residents’ sleep patterns are happening later this summer than what some of them would prefer.
Jerry Moore, who lives about 10 miles from Camp Atterbury in the Columbus Princeton Park neighborhood, said noise from the Edinburgh military installation continues until late at night and has been disruptive.
“They seem to be doing it later this year, and it’s louder,” said Moore, who has lived in the northside neighborhood for nine years. “I have to get up at 5:25 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and that makes it kind of rough when it goes on that late.”
Capt. Jessica Cates of Camp Atterbury said exercises have taken place as late as 10:30 p.m., and there is increased artillery activity, which residents may not recognize.
“In the past we haven’t had a lot of artillery come here and shoot,” Cates said.
The number of troops engaged in artillery training also increased this year, Cates said.
“In the last eight or 10 years we may have had a company-size element, but we are having battalion-size elements come shoot from a lot of these artillery points,” Cates said.
A company has about 225 soldiers, and a battalion can include up to 1,200 troops.
Camp Atterbury’s joint maneuver training center hosts annual readiness exercises for National Guard units from Indiana and nearby states every summer.
Atterbury is trying to reach out to people who are complaining about the noise — to apologize and ask for patience, Cates said.
Moore said he contacted the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and was told that while the department has been barraged with calls, there is little that can be done.
Maj. Todd Noblitt, spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said complaints about loud noise from the camp are not unusual at this time of year. He said Camp Atterbury is usually good about notifying law enforcement and residents about activity.
“Whenever they run military exercises, we pretty routinely get calls,” Noblitt said. “Typically, people out there are accustomed to it and learn to live with it.”
Cates said there are two more units scheduled for artillery exercises this year, in addition to the summer exercises residents have come to expect.
The artillery exercises take about two weeks, and the next is scheduled to begin in mid-July, followed by another at the end of the month that will extend into August.