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National Guard Investigating Medevac Helicopter Use On D.C. Protesters

The commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard has ordered an investigation into the use of helicopters flying low over protesters on Monday.

The probe is in response to reports and videos of National Guard helicopters hovering over crowds, blowing dust and falling branches. One Army helicopter reportedly snapped a tree that nearly hit several people during a pass over protesters.

The Guard said Wednesday that it is looking into the use of a medical evacuation helicopter as part of its response to civil unrest in the nation's capital. Medevac markings were left displayed on the aircraft while conducting non-medical civil support operations, including active crowd suppression.

"I hold all members of the District of Columbia National Guard to the highest of standards," Maj. Gen. William Walker, DCNG commanding general, said in a statement.
 link to www.politico.com

National Guard investigating helicopter use on D.C. protesters

The Guard said Wednesday that it is looking into the use of a medical evacuation helicopter as part of its response to civil unrest in D.C.

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A line of DC National Guard members stand near the White House as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd on Tuesday. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo
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By LARA SELIGMAN
06/03/2020 09:11 AM EDT

The commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard has ordered an investigation into the use of helicopters flying low over protesters on Monday, the branch announced.

The probe is in response to reports and videos of National Guard helicopters hovering over crowds, blowing dust and falling branches. One Army helicopter reportedly snapped a tree that nearly hit several people during a pass over protesters.

The Guard said Wednesday that it is looking into the use of a medical evacuation helicopter as part of its response to civil unrest in the nation's capital.

"I hold all members of the District of Columbia National Guard to the highest of standards," Maj. Gen. William Walker, DCNG commanding general, said in a statement.

President Donald Trump activated the nearly 1,300 D.C. National Guardsmen on Monday to help local law enforcement respond to the protests, and on Tuesday governors sent an additional 1,500 Guardsmen from other states.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, stressed the difficult and delicate mission the Guard faces in helping tamp down the protests, noting that the Guard members "live and work and are from these communities.

"The civil unrest mission is one of the most difficult and dangerous missions that we do here in our domestic portfolio," Lengyel said. "Generally, this mission is an uncomfortable mission. They don't like doing it."

In addition to the National Guardsmen and local police, Defense Secretary Mark Esper moved roughly 1,600 active-duty Army troops into the National Capitol Region from infantry and military police units from Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Drum, N.Y.

The units are on "heightened alert status" but have not yet been deployed in support of civil authorities, according to Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman.

As of midday Tuesday, governors in 23 states and the District of Columbia have activated more than 20,400 National Guard members to assist state and local law enforcement in dealing with the protests. This is in addition to the 42,000 Guardsmen in all 50 states, three territories and D.C. who are supporting the Covid-19 response.

homepage: homepage: http://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/03/national-guard-helicopter-dc-protests-298251


NG pilot grounded amid probe into helicopter flying over DC protesters 07.Jun.2020 13:49

The Hill

The Department of Defense said Friday it had grounded one of the National Guard helicopter pilots who performed low-flying maneuvers to disperse crowds of protesters in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening, according to multiple reports.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters that the helicopter crew was grounded pending results from an internal investigation, according to local CBS affiliate WUSA9. A Pentagon spokesman told the outlet that the move was standard procedure during such investigations.

The aircraft was one of two Army National Guard helicopters that hovered between 100 and 300 feet above the streets of the District on Monday night, according to an aircraft tracker. Gusts from their helicopter blades were aimed at dispersing crowds of protesters.