Since last October, the Pentagon has had a secret Army mission with Black Hawk helicopters flying over the Washington, D.C., area, backed by active-duty and reserve soldiers, but we’re only now finding out about it.
Anthony Capaccio reports for Bloomberg, July 22, 2019, that the mysterious classified operation was disclosed only when the Army asked Congress for approval to shift funds to provide an extra $1.55 million for aircraft maintenance, air crews and travel in support of an “emerging classified flight mission.” The Defense Department maintains that without this additional funding, “the Army will not be able to perform this classified mission.”
The Pentagon has revealed only a few details about the secret D.C. mission:
- “Soldiers from assault helicopter company and aviation maintenance units will be supporting the mission with 10 UH-60s (Black Hawk helicopters) and maintenance capabilities for four months.”
- The requested money will also pay for a specialized “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility” at Davison Army Airfield at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, just outside Washington.
Army spokesman Wayne Hall declined in an email to comment on whether the mission involved protecting the White House or other federal buildings, or whether it’s making use of specialized commando units of the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, which includes the Army’s Delta unit and Navy’s Seal Team Six.
Hall said the operation began early in the fiscal year, which started last Oct. 1, and “the duration of the mission is undetermined.”