Coast Guard cancels "live fire" exercisesby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The U.S. Coast Guard has cancelled two planned live-fire exercises on the Great Lakes. The action comes as criticism builds on how the agency has handled public notification of its plan to establish permanent safety zones for the drills.
Rear Admiral John Crowley Jr., commander of the Coast Guard's Ninth Division, wrote an open letter to the editor Thursday. He said he was cancelling the exercises in order to focus attention on the plan for the safety zones during an extended public comment period.
Spokesman Robert Lanier says it's still possible there could be more drills.
"The admiral said in his letter to the editor that he would take a request for a weapons exercise on a case-by-case basis. To my knowledge there are no exercises scheduled during the 60-day comment period," according to Lanier.
The Coast Guard wants comments on its plan for the safety zones, not on the drills themselves.
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