National Guard explains loud booms heard across Central Arkansas

(KATV) North Little Rock - If you have heard some loud booms at night this week in Central Arkansas, we have an answer for you. The noise and vibrations from Camp Robinson's routine training have been traveling farther than usual.

Some KATV viewers called and said their homes trembled. To give you an idea how far it echoed from North Little Rock, the explosions could be heard about 30-minutes away.

It isn't a battle field, it's a classroom. The fire infantry, National Guard students have advanced into hands on mortar fire down range to put their new skills into action.

Just like in real combat, they call in to the Fire Direction Center to relay 'need for fire' and the target location. After the shot, they call in where the shot impacted.

Major Chris Heathscott with the Arkansas National guard says, "We've conducted this kind of training at Camp Robinson for as long as I can recall. We typically put out noise alerts to notify the individuals in the general area."

He says rounds typically impact south of highway 89 near Cato. "But Monday nights firing actually spread out a lot farther. We were getting complaints all the way out to West Little Rock, Sherwood to Cabot."

Major Heathscott says they want to be a good neighbor and appreciate the support as soldiers prepare for combat roles, even though the war overseas is winding down. "We have to continue to train these soldiers to be proficient in the military skill so when that time comes and they're called upon again, they know what they're supposed to do."

Major Heathscott was told the atmosphere may have caused the sound to travel Monday. So there's a chance you will hear the noise, possibly some vibrations through Saturday night (March 16).

The Arkansas National Guard conducts up to 10 of these training classes every year.