An unarmed man gained access to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Thursday and boarded a plane typically used by senior government and military leaders, prompting the authorities to order a review of security at Air Force bases worldwide, officials said.
The intrusion happened on Thursday when the civilian, whose name was not released, gained unauthorized access to the flight line — an area at the base that includes the runways and ramps — and boarded a C-40 plane assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing.
The aircraft, which is based on the commercial Boeing 737-700 business jet, was designed to be an “office in the sky” for senior military and government leaders, with an array of communications technology. Joint Base Andrews is also known as the home of Air Force One, the president’s plane.
Security forces at Joint Base Andrews responded, detained and interviewed the man with the help of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the base said in a statement.
The man was booked by the Office of Special Investigations and given a federal summons for trespassing. He was then turned over to local law enforcement officials because he had two outstanding warrants. Joint Base Andrews did not explain why the warrants had been issued.
The man did not harm anyone and there was “no indication that the individual has any links to extremist groups,” Joint Base Andrews said.
“The security of our installation is paramount,” Col. Roy Oberhaus, the vice wing commander of the 316th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, said in a statement. “This was a serious breach of security, and Joint Base Andrews is investigating the incident to determine how this happened so it doesn’t happen again.”
On Thursday, Joint Base Andrews said on Facebook that it was suspending its Trusted Traveler program. The program had allowed “valid cardholders with escort authority” at the base “to vouch for a maximum of 10 individuals in their immediate vehicle without a visitor request form,” according to a 2015 statement by the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews.
The secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force directed the Department of the Air Force Inspector General to investigate the breach, according to a statement issued by the Air Force on Friday. The statement said the Department of the Air Force would also begin a comprehensive review of installation security and trends.
“Everybody is taking this seriously,” John Kirby, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said on Friday, adding that the security review by the Air Force inspector general would include installations worldwide.
“They’re not just going to limit it to Andrews,” Mr. Kirby said. “Clearly, they’re going to investigate this incident. But they’re also going to take a look at security protocols across the force.”
The Air Force said that once its review was complete, it would make public the results of its investigation. It said in a statement that while it was still gathering information and facts, “we can assure you, installation security is of critical importance to the Department of the Air Force.”
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