I just came across this pic I took of a helicopter in Georgia right before I walked right smack through the middle of a military training exercise along the AT in 2009. I suspect that they had just finished up several helicopter drops since there were helicopters flying all over the place. When I passed, there were maybe 50 or 60 soldiers grouped along the trail. It was a bit early in the season so perhaps they weren't expecting hikers quite yet, but I no doubt surprised the heck out of them. I'd stumbled upon training exercises while hiking in that area before so fortunately this I knew what to expect. It's my understanding that for them to be seen by civilians is an epic fail, nor are they allowed to acknowledge or interact with hikers. The trail was lined with soldiers. As I passed, they remained frozen and totally motionless.They were all fully armed with some rather large caliber weaponry and fully decked out in combat gear. The guys right along the trail were so close that had I reached out, I could have touched them-- in fact, I actually had to step over one of their legs to get by. I made eye contact with them, but none of them acknowledged me nor responded to the occasional wink and nod I gave them as I passed. The only acknowledgement I got was from a group of ranking officers who were standing on a landing at the top of the hill. One of them simply said "You're safe.". I nodded and walked on. I remember that I still had my camera in my hand since I had just taken a picture of the helicopter but thought that it wouldn't be very smart to take any more pictures. Overall, it was an extremely odd experience. Had I been unfamiliar with their exercises, I would have absolutely freaked.