Guard helo crews disciplined for ‘flying low’ over D.C. protesters in 2020

Guard helo crews disciplined for ‘flying low’ over D.C. protesters in 2020
UH-60 Black Hawk from Wisconsin NG participates in a nighttime exercise in 2020. WI NG image, Emma Anderson via

[Ed. – Thankfully they apparently face no misconduct charges.  It doesn’t sound as if their orders were very clear.  I haven’t seen video of their flight profiles, but from the description, it sounds like they were doing what they’d actually do if assigned to quell or deter volatile civil disturbances anywhere else in America.  Someone undoubtedly complained.]

Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of the Washington, D.C., Guard, launched an 15-6 fact-finding investigation after reports surfaced of D.C. Guard medical evacuation helicopters hovering low over a crowd near the Capitol One Arena on the evening of June 1, 2020.

“The 15-6 that was appointed by Maj. Gen. Walker in the D.C. Guard found that the use of the helicopters in particular … was not prohibited by law or policy; however, there was a very general lack of understanding of how to use, how to employ helicopters in civil disturbance support operations,” an Army official told defense reporters Wednesday in a background discussion of the report.

But given the chaotic nature of the situation on the ground at the time, “the conduct of the pilots and the others involved in the operation that evening were considered reasonable,” the Army official said.

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