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Shot fired after intruder breaks onto Andrews Air Force base

The incident is under investigation.
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Andrews Air Force Base
FILE PHOTO: A line of cars waits to enter Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

An unidentified man is in custody after breaching security at Joint Base Andrews Maryland, on Monday, said Maj. Lauren Hill, a spokeswoman for the base.

Andrews is where the president’s plane, Air Force One, is based. It is also the base that the defense secretary and other top government officials use for official travel.

“The intruder was immediately apprehended and taken into custody,” Hill told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.

No information was immediately available on how the man may have gained access to the base, how many security forces airmen responded to the incident, or where the intruder is currently being held because the incident remains under investigation, Hill said.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass has said that her husband was involved in the incident after the man entered the base, but Bass did not say exactly what actions her husband took.

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“We appreciate the outpouring of support we received after this incident,” Bass said in a statement on Tuesday. “I can confirm that my husband, Rahn, was involved, and is safe, thanks to the quick response and professionalism of our Security Forces Airmen.” 

“We are grateful they were able to apprehend the individual,” she continued, “And we will continue to work with law enforcement as their investigation continues.”

Rahn Bass
Rahn Bass (Center), the husband of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, puts her new service coat on her during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 14, 2020. (Eric Dietrich/U.S. Air Force)

The official Twitter account for Joint Base Andrews tweeted on Monday that “a resident discharged a firearm” after a man made his way into the base’s housing area. The tweet did not specifically identify who the resident was.

“Security forces arrived on scene to apprehend the intruder, & law enforcement is investigating the incident,” the tweet from Joint Base Andrews says. “No injuries nor property damage reported.”

Kylene Yumel, a spokesman for the 316th Wing declined to identify which resident discharged a firearm, citing privacy concerns.

A commenter on an unofficial Air Force Reddit page speculated on Monday that Bass’ husband had fired warning shots after spotting the intruder.

Air Force spokeswoman Rose Riley declined to say whether or not Rahn Bass was the Joint Base Andrews resident who discharged a firearm, per Joint Base Andrews’ tweet.

“As the incident remains under investigation, we are unable to elaborate on the events that took place beyond the release from the 316 Wing PA [Public Affairs] and CMSAF’s statement,” Riley told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.

This is not the first time that an intruder has managed to slip past security at Joint Base Andrews. In February 2021, a man wearing a mouse hat not only got onto the base, but he also managed to board a C-40 aircraft.

A subsequent investigation found that security forces airmen at a base gate were distracted by personal issues that day, and they did not properly check the man’s credentials.

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