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Armed intruders break into Joint Base Andrews during VP Harris visit

Vice President Kamala Harris at the 40th Annual Black History Month Virtual Celebration, Feb. 27, 2021, at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
March 07, 2022

Two armed intruders breached Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Sunday during Vice President Kamala Harris’s brief stop before departing the military installation in Marine Two.

The base went into lockdown following reports that two individuals had driven a vehicle through a security checkpoint at the Main Gate around 9 p.m., a press release by Joint Base Andrews stated. Press pool reports said that Harris boarded Marine Two at 8:51 pm and taxied for several minutes before taking off.

The individuals fled the vehicle on foot after the 316th Security Forces Group deployed barriers and stopped the vehicle. One of the suspects was arrested.

The individual who was apprehended did have a weapon, the release read, but no shots were fired.

Security Forces Defenders conducted a sweep of the base to locate the second intruder without success. The search concluded early Monday morning when security personnel “found confirmatory evidence that the base intruder on the loose had departed the installation.”

“I am incredibly proud of the quick actions of our Defenders to immediately deploy the barriers to stop last night’s stolen vehicle and then apprehend one of the individuals that had a weapon. The Defenders handled the intense situation with discipline and calm professionalism,” Col. Tyler Schaff, 316th Wing and Joint Base Andrews installation commander, said in a statement. “We are also thankful for our partnerships with local authorities, who responded rapidly on base to assist the 316th Security Forces Group throughout the night.”

Joint Base Andrews Defenders’ efforts to locate the intruders were supported by Prince George’s County Police, Maryland State Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Office of Special Investigation.

Around 3 a.m. Monday, the base’s Main Gate was reopened, roughly six hours after it was first closed.

“I apologize for the inconvenience some experienced while traveling to and from base last night,” Schaff continued. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as the installation was being searched. The safety of our personnel is always our top priority, and your cooperation helped make it possible for our Defenders and partners to thoroughly and swiftly search the base. Our Defenders remain committed and ready to safeguard the base at every hour of every day. I remain proud of them.”

A White House official told The Washington Post that around 9:40 p.m., four Cabinet secretaries in President Joe Biden’s administration who were traveling with Vice President Harris -Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan — departed the base without incident.