Training makes Camp Atterbury a noisy neighbor

FILE - A solider collects spent casings on the rifle range at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Ind., Friday, Dec. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

EDINBURGH, Ind. (AP) — Residents living near Camp Atterbury might need to break out the ear plugs as the military installation hosts National Guard readiness training that includes an increase in mortar fire and helicopters.

About 5,000 troops from National Guard units in Indiana and nearby states arrived at the base near Edinburgh last week. Capt. Jessica Cates told the Daily Journal  that they’ve been working with 120 mm mortar shells, which have rattled nearby homes and businesses.

“It’s like living in a war zone all summer long. The war is 5 miles away and you’re hearing everything that’s going on,” said Edinburgh resident David Grothkob.

The activity is part of annual readiness training that National Guard soldiers are required to do each year. The training includes mortar, infantry drills and logistics work, Cates said.

Though residents are used to the noise, they still find the explosions and increased air traffic disruptive.

The mortar explosions can shake the ground, and they’re louder when low-hanging clouds act as a ceiling, Cates said.

“It reverberates and it shakes the whole town. That’s pretty common when they’re shooting their big stuff,” Grothkob said.

Training will continue through the summer, but the group that arrived last week is expected to be the largest. Cates said residents should notice the increased activity through the end of the week.

The base has halted deployment training, which brought thousands of soldiers to Camp Atterbury after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. But Cates said annual training for National Guard members and emergency preparedness drills will continue each year.

“There’s always something going on between here and Muscatatuck through September,” she said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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