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At least 10 'known or suspected terrorists' tried to access Army bases in 2018
At least 10 individuals either known to be or believed to be terrorists attempted to gain access to U.S. Army installations in 2018, according to an Army Crime Report for Fiscal Year 2018 that was obtained by Task & Purpose.
The Army uses a two-step process to vet potential visitors to its installations; the first is by using the National Crime Information Center Interstate Identification Index (NCIC-III). Of the 3.2 million people that visited Army installations in 2018, 35,018 were not allowed access after vetting through the NCIC-III — of those 35,018, 454 were convicted murderers, and 1,325 were registered sex offenders.
Ten of those were considered 'known or suspected terrorists,' flagged by a Known or Suspected Terrorist (KST) hit.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the designation of "known or suspected terrorists" refers to individuals for whom DHS has "a reasonable suspicion to believe that they have or are likely to be engaged in terrorist activity," a definition that civil rights groups have criticized as vague and overly broad.
In one instance, on December 29, 2018, a soldier was coming back onto an installation in an Uber, according to the report. When the Uber driver went through the initial screening process to drop the soldier off, a KST hit was returned and later confirmed after dispatch called the FBI Terrorist Screening Center (TSC).
The driver was not allowed on the installation, although they were not informed of their status on the Terrorist Watch List.
In another case in July 2018, a driver of a U.S. trucking company was flagged with a positive KST hit when they "requested entry to pick up a load of undisclosed equipment," the report said. The TSC was notified, and confirmed the KST hit.
"The driver's probation officer had noted that he was not to access any government bases as a condition of his federal parole," the Crime Report explains. "The driver became argumentative and was told to leave or face arrest. The driver left without further incident."
It was not clear at which installations these incidents occurred.
The Army has been working to beef up security at its installations, even releasing a plan from the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment a few years ago titled "Army Installations 2025," which outlines a strategy to enhance resiliency, prioritize investments in facilities, and more.
In May 2019, Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for strategic integration, said in a press release that the homeland "is no longer a sanctuary," explaining why security on military installations is of the upmost importance.
"We've been treating our military installations as if they were sanctuary cities for a very long time, immune from the effects of the adversary," Kidd said. "That is no longer the appropriate assumption."
In order to increase security at installations, the Army is looking to smart technologies to increase security, even discussing bringing "5G wireless connectivity to all of its installations," the Army said in the press release. One of the primary discussions is how to build "Army bases into smart installations capable of defending against enemy attacks," per the release.
"We must be able to recover when these attacks happen," Chris Thomas, director of information and technology for the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management said. "Keep in mind it's not if we're going to get attacked. It's when. It's going to happen.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.