WASHINGTON: On Friday, the U.S. Air Force launched an inquiry after an intruder managed to board an official aircraft at an air force base outside Washington, amid improved security precautions following the Jan 6 assault on Capitol Hill.
On Thursday, officials said, a “adult man” managed to infiltrate Andrews Air Force base, which welcomes visiting dignitaries in Washington and is where official US planes are located, including the Air Force One presidential aircraft.
“It is taken very seriously by everybody. (Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin) takes this very seriously,’ said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, stressing that the investigation will be based around the world on US Air Force security initiatives.
The unarmed man, who was not immediately connected by the authorities to any terrorist party, was able to board the C-40, the military version of the Boeing 737, illegally before being detained, the air force added.
C-40 aircraft based at Andrews Air Force Base are used on their official journeys by members of the U.S. cabinet, senior congressional leaders, or senior military officials.
The Air Force refused to clarify how the man had managed to reach the highly guarded air base or how long he had been on the aircraft.
Thousands of troops from the National Guard have helped Washington.
Safety after the attack by pro-Trump demonstrators on Capitol Hill that left five people dead.
The Guard is charged with defending the Capitol during Donald Trump’s second impeachment hearing, expected to begin on Feb 9, as officials expect more demonstrations.