Editor’s note: Redstone Arsenal doesn’t have an operator or centralized directory for people to call. But like the man on TV said “if you have a problem, if no one else can help,” and apparently if you just “call Redstone Arsenal” then you’ll probably end up connecting to the Garrison’s PAO office. Ok, maybe he didn’t say that last part, but that’s what happens. It leads to some interesting challenges. And just for the record, people don’t work for Redstone Arsenal, they work on Redstone Arsenal, and if you call looking for a specific person and all you have is a last name, there’s nothing anyone can do.
The game’s afoot.
The Garrison PAO office gets a lot of phone calls that have absolutely nothing to do with public affairs other than the person on the other end of the line is a member of the public.
A typical call goes like this:
PAO: Hi, Garrison PAO office, how may I help you?
Random member of the public: “Hi, we heard a loud noise. It was probably one of our kids doing a flying elbow drop off his bunk bed, but we wanted to call and make sure it wasn’t the Arsenal first before we explored other explanations.”
PAO: We haven’t received any noise alerts today, so I don’t think it was the Arsenal. Where do you live?
RMP: Oh, we live in Tennessee. Anyway, that’s weird; it sounded like it came from the Arsenal. (In the background you can hear a kid screaming because his arm is broken.)
That’s a mild exaggeration and there are certainly a lot of loud noises that come from Redstone, but if you live 20 miles away from post, it’s probably not the Arsenal. There are a lot of other things that go boom.
This one’s not an exaggeration.
PAO: Hi, blah blah, blah.
RMP: Yes, someone keeps flying Army helicopters over my farm, and it’s scaring my fainting goats and making them faint.
If you ever want a headache go find an FAA official, air traffic controller or someone who flies and ask them just how much metal moves through the air at any given time.
I’ll save you the trouble though. The answer is it’s a lot. Contrary to popular belief each helicopter in the sky does not in fact originate from Redstone, nor do they terminate their flights at Redstone.
I know this because I watched the folks in the PAO office try to track down the origins of these helicopters that were terrorizing these poor fainting goats.
To be fair, there are some legitimate instances when a helicopter from Redstone has randomly landed on a local farm. They’ve all been emergency situations and they are few and far between.
In this instance it was quickly determined that the helicopters were not coming from Redstone. That was actually pretty easy to figure out. As to the actual origins, that’s going to take a multi-organizational task force to figure out.
I don’t think that’s really necessary though, because I think it has a simple answer.
I don’t know how many fainting goats the caller has, but I have watched my fair share of fainting goat videos. And if I had a helicopter and I knew where there were a handful of fainting goats, I can’t say the temptation would not be there for me to go make them faint with my helicopter.