An unarmed man sparked a global review of security at US Air Force facilities after he was caught entering an aircraft at the base where the US President’s Air Force One is housed.
The security breach took place on the 4 February at Joint Base Andrews (JBA) in Maryland, where the man entered a C-40 aircraft assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing.
The aircraft is primarily used by members of the Cabinet, Congress and military combatant commanders, but not for presidential travel.
“Everybody is taking this very seriously,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, adding that the US Air Force had already adjusted some of its security protocols at JBA by Friday morning.
He did not provide details on the new security measures, with President Joe Biden using the base later on Friday to fly home to Wilmington, Delaware.
The man was detained by security forces and has been given a federal summons for trespassing by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
In a statement base officials said the man was turned over to local law enforcement because he had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The statement said he did not harm anyone, and it did not appear he had any link to extremist groups.
“The security of our installation is paramount,” said Colonel Roy Oberhaus, the Vice Wing Commander of the 316th Wing at JBA.
“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.”
Cover image: Joint Base Andrews in 2010 (Picture: US Department of Defense).