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Intruders tried to sneak onto Air Nat’l Guard bases 13 times so far in 2021

Airmen of the North Dakota Air National Guard's 219th Security Forces Squadron provide security at Minot Air Force Base. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp/Released)
February 24, 2021

People have tried to sneak onto Air National Guard (ANG) bases 13 different times so far since the start of 2021.

ANG Director Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh told Air Force Magazine that, as of Friday, Feb. 19, the service has seen 13 attempted or successful infiltrations of their bases. Loh did not disclose the locations where the security breaches occurred, due to security concerns.

Loh said nine of the incidents have occurred at “installation-control points” at the bases.

“Most of them come in, they don’t realize that they’re coming on a base, that they’re supposed to stop, and they pass through,” Loh told Air Force Magazine. But in “a couple” of incidents, Loh said individuals attempted to “jump the fence and steal stuff” before being apprehended by base security.

None of the incidents have resulted in damage.

News of the spike in base intrusion incidents this year comes after base security officials at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Feb. 4. Andrews is the Air Force Base where the presidential aircraft known as Air Force One is typically based. The intruder at Andrews reportedly boarded and hid on a different C-40 Clipper executive transport plane before base security personnel found and apprehended him. Following the breach at Joint Base Andrews, acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown ordered a review of security at all Air Force and Space Force bases world wide.

“Everybody takes seriously what happened and they will do a thorough investigation and . . . I’m sure they will learn things out of this that we’ll be able to share with you,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said. “I can also tell you that clearly, they have adjusted some of their security protocols at Andrews this morning. “

Loh’s comments to Air Force Magazine confirm the incident at Joint Base Andrews was not an isolated occurrence.

While Loh said any installation breaches are “a problem” ANG base security personnel have performed well and have done “amazing things.” He said ANG base defenders vet 8 million base visitors each year. He also said bases also enjoy added support from local law enforcement agencies.

“In combination with local law enforcement, in and around our locations, because we are United States-based, I get that extra layer that’s outside the fence, as well as the layer that’s inside the fence,” Loh said.

Loh said with standard base security procedures, combined with intrusion detection systems, like cameras, “we are actually very secure, and people will feel very secure being in our base.”