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Human error led to security breach at Joint Base Andrews, says report

Human error and a malfunctioning gate allowed an intruder to enter Joint Base Andrews, Md., shown here on Jan. 20, last month. Photo by Logan Carlson/U.S. Air Force
Human error and a malfunctioning gate allowed an intruder to enter Joint Base Andrews, Md., shown here on Jan. 20, last month. Photo by Logan Carlson/U.S. Air Force

March 11 (UPI) -- Human error and a malfunctioning gate led to last month's security breach at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, according to an Air Force Inspector General's review of the incident.

The Air Force released a 23-page report Thursday detailing the incident, which led to the arrest of a civilian at the base, which houses Air Force One.

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Three issues led to what the Air Force described as the man's wrongful entry onto both the base and a U.S. Air Force C-40 aircraft.

First, a "fully qualified and trained" gate guard failed to follow proper procedures, which allowed the person to gain access to the base.

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Second, an automatic gate at the entry control point malfunctioned, which allowed the man to access the flightlin, the report said.

Third, personnel on the flightline "failed to observe the man walking toward the aircraft" -- and those who did see him did not challenge his presence.

The man entered the base at 7:16 a.m. Feb. 4 and proceeded to the 89th Airlift Wing terminal, accessing the flightline through a gap in the broken gate.

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After he boarded the aircraft, which was open for training, two aircrew members saw the man leave and then walk toward the entry control point after someone in the passenger terminal alerted them.

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He was subsequently arrested for unauthorized access and was turned over to local authorities.

Joint Base Andrews houses the 89th Airlift Wing, or "President's Wing" which operates Air Force One -- a name applied to two customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft -- and other official aircraft.

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According to the Inspector General, the Presidential 747 aircraft were safe at all times under "a more robust security layer."

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