WASHINGTON (AP) — The intruder who breached Joint Base Andrews, the home of Air Force One, reached the residence of one of the Air Force’s top leaders before her spouse opened fire, the air base said Tuesday.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass confirmed that the intruder had reached her home on Monday. The chief master sergeant is the Air Force’s top enlisted leader.
“We appreciate the outpouring of support we received after this incident. I can confirm that my husband, Rahn, was involved, and is safe, thanks to the quick response and professionalism of our Security Forces Airmen,” Bass said in a statement on Tuesday.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the air base said: “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, and a frequent base for the “doomsday” 747 aircraft that can serve as the nation’s airborne nuclear command and control centers if needed.
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 apprehended 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.