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Intruder at Joint Base Andrews roamed ‘unencumbered’ for hours before boarding military plane

The investigation into the February 4 incident found that the man was able to gain access to the base because the guard on duty at the time was “distracted” and did not check to see if he had proper credentials before allowing him to drive through.

This was the first of three failures outlined in the IG report.

Once on base, the man was able to roam “unencumbered” for over five hours, visiting the facility’s food court and passenger lounge, according to Lt. Gen. Sami Said from the Air Force OIG who briefed reporters on the report Thursday.

After leaving the lounge, the individual was “wandering around outside” and found that a gate leading to the flight line was partially open, Said told reporters Thursday. This opening allowed the man to access the flight line, Said added, noting the gate malfunction was the second failure identified by investigators.

Once on the flight line, military personnel on duty there “failed to observe the man walking toward the aircraft and personnel who saw him on the aircraft but did not challenge his presence,” according to an Air Force statement.

The aircraft had been left open for aircrew training and personnel on the aircraft did not challenge him when he boarded, according to Said.

After the man left the aircraft, he was arrested by military security personnel when someone in the military passenger terminal alerted them. He was then turned over to local law enforcement.

“He could have roamed around for a lot longer” if the airman in the passenger terminal had not reported him, Said said.

The review also determined that Presidential aircraft were safe at all times.

“The review found that the Presidential 747 aircraft located at Joint Base Andrews were safe at all times under a more robust security layer within a protected self-contained area manned by armed security personnel. Additional security procedures are not releasable,” the statement said in a rare reference to Presidential security.

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