In the wake of three recent incidents on military facilities that resulted in the deaths of six, the Navy and Marine Corps must complete servicewide reviews of the security measures that protect troops and their families.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly directed the top Navy and Marine Corps leaders to conduct a "security stand-down."
"Execution of the Security Stand-Down is directed to ensure that all of our Sailors, Marines, and Civilians across all of our installations and commands are best postured, trained, and informed to prevent future incidents of this nature," a Marine Corps-wide message announcing the order states.
Modly gave the Navy and Marine Corps until Jan. 10 to finish the reviews. The order follows a series of fatal incidents, including two shootings, at three Navy facilities in Virginia, Hawaii and Florida that left four sailors and two Defense Department employees dead.
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Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar Temores was killed Nov. 30 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia when his patrol car was struck by an alleged gate runner. On Dec. 4, Defense Department employees Vincent Kapoi and Roldan Agustin were shot and killed by a sailor at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. Two days later, Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed S. Haitham and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed at Florida's Naval Air Station Pensacola when a Saudi officer opened fire on a classroom there.
The deadly incidents have reignited the debate on whether troops should be permitted to carry weapons while on base. The attack in Florida has also raised serious questions about how the government vets international troops who train on U.S. military bases.
At a minimum, Modly told service leaders, the security stand-down should focus on three areas.
The first is a review of physical security measures at bases and the posturing of Random Anti-Terrorism Measures, known as RAM. Those are unpredictable security measures that keep would-be perpetrators guessing about safety inspections and other checks.
Secondly, the Navy and Marine Corps have been ordered to review training on insider threats and what's needed to deter them. The military's insider threat training has generally been focused on overseas deployments after Afghan and Iraqi personnel have turned against U.S. troops downrange.
And last, Modly also wants the services to review their active-shooter pre-planned responses, and whether drills or tabletop exercises are needed to support them.
Commanders, commanding officers and officers-in-charge are ordered to execute the security stand-down.
A Navy official last week declined to say whether any new security measures are in place at bases and other facilities after the attacks.
"We will not speak to any specific security measures or procedures employed on our installations/activities/units," said Lt. Brittany Stephens, a Navy spokeswoman at the Pentagon.
In a previous message to sailors and Marines, Modly praised the heroism displayed during the attacks.
"I learned about countless acts of heroism from the first responders, and many of the victims themselves, which will come to light as the facts of these tragedies are revealed. I assure you that we will all be proud of these heroes and what they did in moments of terror and extreme danger," he said.
-- Gina Harkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.
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