Intruder Caught at Joint Base Andrews
Unwanted person wandered unencumbered for hours before boarding military plane
A distracted gate guard allowed an unauthorized man to illegally enter Joint Base Andrews, where he roamed for about five hours. He also climbed aboard a C-40 Clipper, an aircraft frequently used by senior government leaders.
The incident occurred on Feb. 4, and an investigation found that the man gained access when the guard was distracted, and allowed the man to drive through the base entry. Three failures were identified by the Inspector General’s (IG) office.
- Once on base the many roamed “unencumbered” for more than five hours, visiting the facilities food court and passenger lounge.
- Upon leaving the lounge, the man wandered around outside, and found a partially open gate leaving access leading to the flight line.
- Once on the flight line, military staff failed to observe the man walking toward the aircraft, and staff on the flight line did not challenge his presence.
The C-40 had been left open for aircrew communications training, and crew on the aircraft failed to challenge the man when he boarded. The man was wearing dark pants, and a dark jacket, and carrying a backpack as though mistaken for a civilian contactor. However, the man didn’t fit in on the base because he was wearing a bright red-pink hat with balls on top, meant to resemble mouse ears. Once the man left the aircraft he was arrested by military police, but only when someone in the passenger terminal alerted security. He was then turned over to local police. The investigation also discovered that the man had consumed alcohol prior to entering the base.
The man could have roamed a lot longer had an airman not reported him, according to Lt. Gen. Sami Said of the Air Force OIG, who briefed reporters. The review also determined that Presidential aircraft were safe at all times.
The presidential 747 aircraft is stored at Joint Base Andrews, however, the IG noted that it was “safe at all times under a more robust security layer within a protected self-contained area manned by armed security personal.”