April 23, 2022 · 7:06 am
Blackhawk Helicopters Land at U.S. Capitol for Training Exercise – Photo Essay
by Larry Janezich
U.S. Capitol Police gave fair warning for last week’s training exercise at the U.S. Capitol involving low flying helicopters and emergency vehicles. The exercise was held in conjunction with federal and local law enforcement and FEMS agencies on a cold and breezy evening last Tuesday.
The East Plaza on Tuesday evening before the Capitol Grounds were shut down.
Part of the exercise involved evacuating the Congressional leadership, top aides, and a press pool in case of an emergency. These staffers, gathered on the southern edge of the East Front, appear to be stand-ins for their bosses. In an emergency, the Congressional leadership would be evacuated to a secure hardened shelter in Virginia.
About 7:30pm, the Blackhawk helicopters approached the Capitol flying west on Independence Avenue and on East Capitol Street – two for the House side and two for the Senate side. A fifth Park Police helicopter landed on the plaza in front of the center steps. Photos were taken from the upper terrace in front of the Library of Congress.
The Blackhawks landed on the grassy area – these two on the House side of the Capitol.
The departure came about 7:45pm. The Blackhawks can carry about 20 passengers. That’s enough seats for the House and Senate leaders and top aides and press. The rank and file members apparently have to fend for themselves.
Leaving the scene, and while walking east on the grounds of the Library of Congress, a second wave of helicopters came in, flying west over Independence Avenue.
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One response to “Blackhawk Helicopters Land at U.S. Capitol for Training Exercise – Photo Essay”
Blackhawks do not have a seating capacity for 20 people as you mention. They’re rated for 11 pax, and even less dependent of gear worn/carried. Otherwise, good writeup.