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DoD says drone seen flying near Pentagon was ‘security exercise’

A drone hovering near the Pentagon (courtesy of Dave Statter)

The beacon of light in the Arlington sky early Sunday morning wasn’t a UFO, but an authorized Pentagon drone flight.

At about 2:41 a.m. this past Sunday (Aug. 7) morning, some people spotted a dot of light hovering above the general vicinity of Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon.

As former-news-reporter-turned-safety-advocate Dave Statter pointed out on social media, the skies above this section of south Arlington are a general no-fly zone for anything other than military aircraft and commercial flights heading to or from National Airport. He, then, theorized that this was an “authorized [drone] flight (or someone really looking for trouble).”

Turns out, he was right about it being an authorized flight.

“I can confirm the drone activity observed in the early morning hours on Aug. 7 and 8 was part of a Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) security exercise and was approved drone activity,” a Department of Defense spokesperson told ARLnow in an email.

“Due to operations security, we cannot discuss the specifics of the activity,” the spokesperson said, in response to requests for more details about the exercise.

Drone flights, both authorized and not, do happen on occasion here despite the restrictions.

Arlington County used drones to count the deer population, with permission from federal agencies. Just last month, meanwhile, an unauthorized drone flight prompted a ground stop and flight delays at Reagan National Airport.

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