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OFF THE TICKER

Pentagon Says No to National Guard

April 15, 1993|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The National Guard has lost a battle for air supremacy over the Capitol Dome.

The Defense Department announced Tuesday that Guard helicopters will not be allowed to lower the Statue of Freedom from its perch atop the dome on May 9.

The decision ends a battle between the Guard and a private helicopter company over who will remove the 7 1/2-ton statue, which is to be cleaned and restored for the first time in 130 years.

A Defense Department spokesman said the National Guard could obviously accomplish the mission, but "the clear intent of both the Executive Branch and Congress is that competition with commercial industry be avoided."

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