Joint Base Andrews locked down after two armed intruders breach security

At about 9 p.m. on March 6, 2022, one stolen vehicle drove through the security checkpoint and failed to adhere to commands of security personnel at the Main Gate, shortly after Vice President Kamala Harris returned from a trip to Alabama.

Harris and four Cabinet members had traveled to Selma to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, in which police attacked peaceful protesters in 1965.

The Cabinet secretaries with Harris were Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan.

Vice President Kamala Harris traveled with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, HUS Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and EPA Administrator Michael Regan, to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a date when police brutally attacked peaceful protesters attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, during a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

The Vice President’s entourage left Alabama on Air Force Two about 6:45 p.m. Sunday and landed in Maryland about 9 p.m.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested while another intruder got away after reports of an armed individual at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland put the base on lockdown. Authorities said the teen in police custody had a gun.

The 316th Security Forces Group and local authorities concluded a full sweep of the base and confirmed that the 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,” said Col. Tyler Schaff, 316th Wing and Joint Base Andrews installation commander. “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.”

Units from Prince George’s County Police, Maryland State Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Office of Special Investigation were among those who worked alongside Joint Base Andrews Defenders to fully clear the base.

At approximately 3 a.m. Monday, the Main Gate at Joint Base Andrews reopened to full capacity, approximately six hours after its initial closure.

The incident, which is under investigation, appeared to be one of the most serious breaches of security in memory at Andrews, located a few miles outside Washington, in the Camp Springs area of suburban Prince George’s County.

It was unclear late Sunday what motivated the incident and why the intruders entered the base.

“I apologize for the inconvenience some experienced while traveling to and from base last night,” said Schaff. “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 report of the “armed individual on base” was sent at 9:06 p.m. via NPR’s Scott Detrow, who was traveling with the group. The president was not at Joint Base Andrews on Sunday because he traveled directly from Delaware to the White House via a helicopter.

Harris departed via Marine Two before the report was made public, according to reports from journalists traveling with Harris that were confirmed by the vice president’s office.

Col. Tyler Schaff, the commander of Joint Base Andrews, commended responders who raised the installation’s barriers and captured the suspect. Safeguarding the base and its personnel is a top priority, Schaff said.

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