WASHINGTON (AP) — An intruder breached the housing area of the military base where Air Force One is kept on Monday, prompting a resident to open fire before the man could be arrested, Joint Base Andrews said in a statement.
During the incident, which happened at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, “a man gained unauthorized access to a JBA housing area,” Joint Base Andrews said in a statement posted to Twitter. “A resident discharged a firearm, security forces arrived on scene to apprehend the intruder and law enforcement is investigating the incident.”
Joint Base Andrews is home to the fleet of blue and white presidential aircraft, including Air Force One, Marine One and the “doomsday” 747 aircraft that can serve as the nation’s airborne nuclear command and control centers if needed.
The Air Force said late Monday that it did not have anything to add about the intrusion beyond the Andrews statement.
It’s not the first time the base’s security has been breached; in February 2021, a man got through the military checkpoint onto the installation, then through additional fenced secure areas to gain access to the flight line and climb into a C-40, which is the military’s 737-equivalent aircraft used to fly government officials.
That intruder was caught because the “mouse ears” cap he was wearing struck an observant airman as odd.
An inspector general’s investigation found three main security failings, starting with “human error” by a gate security guard who allowed the man to drive onto the base even though he had no credentials that authorized his access. Hours later, the man walked undetected onto the flight line by slipping through a fence designed to restrict entry. Finally, he walked onto and off a parked airplane without being challenged, even though he was not wearing a required badge authorizing access to the restricted area.