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Coast Guard: Potomac Incident Was "Misconstrued"

The U.S. Coast Guard released a statement on its training exercise on the Potomac River this morning, which caused a brief scare after media reports of shots being fired near the location of this morning's Pentagon memorial service. The statement says today's exercise was planned "in advance and was being conducted on a marine radio frequency reserved for Coast Guard training and operations." They are now "gathering information of how this training event might have been misconstrued as an actual incident," and promise a "thorough review."

In addition, the statement seems to defend the timing of today's exercise, saying that "the best way that we in the Coast Guard can remember Sept. 11 and our security obligations to the nation is to be always ready and this requires constant training and exercise." But it also says that the decision to hold an exercise this morning "will be reviewed."

Meanwhile, press secretary Robert Gibbs blamed some of the confusion on "erroneous reporting" by the media. Asked about the decision to hold a training exercise today, he told reporters that he would not question law enforcement decisions.

You can read the full Coast Guard statement after the jump.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported on Friday that reports in the media were based on overheard radio calls made over a training frequency and that no shots were fired during the exercise.

The exercise was planned in advance and was being conducted on a marine radio frequency reserved for Coast Guard training and operations. No recreational boaters were involved in this training exercise.

We are still gathering information of how this training event might have been misconstrued as an actual incident. We will conduct a thorough review of this incident.

Coast Guard boats were operating in the vicinity of 14th Street and Memorial Bridges this morning. Whether or not these were the same boats using the marine radio frequency used for training purposes has not yet been confirmed.

The best way that we in the Coast Guard can remember Sept. 11 and our security obligations to the nation is to be always ready and this requires constant training and exercise. To ensure the appropriate readiness posture we conduct training scenarios across the nation on a daily basis.

How and when this exercised was conducted will be reviewed.