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The U.S. Army Recruiting Command said Thursday it had obtained approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform a parachute jump during a Wednesday night baseball game in Washington, D.C., which was led to an alert and an evacuation at the US Capitol.
“[W]We have confirmed that the parachute team has filed all appropriate and required Federal Aviation Administration documentation and has received FAA approval prior to operating in National Capitol Area airspace,” said Kelli LeGaspi, director of public affairs for the US Army Recruiting Command in a statement.
The Capitol Police alert about the plane, which was carrying members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights who were later parachuted into Nationals Park for the military appreciation night on Wednesday night, sent members of Congress flee the Capitol.
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A law enforcement official says the FAA failed to provide required notification to Capitol police that a plane would circle overhead, setting off the alert and sounding sirens at the Capitol to evacuate. the complex.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., promised a congressional review of the FAA’s “apparent failure,” which she called “outrageous and inexcusable.”
Capitol Police on Thursday called the decision not to alert the force “extremely unusual” and said officers followed policies and procedures necessary to ensure the safety of congressional staff.
“The United States Capitol Police must make split-second decisions that could mean the difference between life and death,” the Capitol Police statement read. “The decision to evacuate the campus is not a decision we take lightly.”
The FAA told Fox News in a statement that it “takes seriously its role in protecting national airspace and will conduct a thorough and prompt review of events tonight and share updates.”
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The agency said it knew its actions were affecting others, “particularly in the National Capital Region, and we need to communicate early and often with our law enforcement partners.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.