Balloons to float above Pentagon to test defenses
Reuters | February 16, 2007
Three large balloons will float above the Pentagon on Saturday as the U.S. Defense Department tests its chemical and biological weapons defenses, department officials said on Friday.
The balloons, each 6 feet in diameter, will be tethered to the Pentagon and sent 100 feet above the Virginia building from four different locations through the day.
According to department officials, the balloons are part of a series of tests the Pentagon does on its building defenses regularly.
"We do tests all the time. This one is just more visible," a spokesman said.
The tests will be conducted by a unit of the Defense Department agency created to protect the Pentagon after the September 11, 2001, attacks, when al Qaeda hijackers flew a plane into the building, killing 125 people.
Officials would not say what role the balloons play in protecting the building against chemical and biological weapons, or when during the day they will be lifted.
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