Authorities are widening their search for the West Point cadet who went missing with an M4


VIDEO: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., May 27, 2017.

Approximately 130 soldiers from Fort Drum arrived at West Point on Monday to assist in the search for the cadet who has been missing since Friday evening, the U.S. Military Academy announced.

The cadet was last seen on Friday around 5:30pm, and did not report for "a scheduled military skills competition," West Point said in the Monday press release.

The cadet's M4 rifle is also missing, though he is not believed to have any ammunition or magazines with him.

"There is no indication the Cadet poses a threat to the public," the release says, "but he may be a danger to himself."

Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt, a spokesman for the academy, told that the cadet was getting ready for a military skills event in order to be selected for next year's Sandhurst Military Skills Competition, adding that the cadet "left his rucksack, Kevlar helmet, and all of his magazines."

The cadets "had drawn their weapons to start going out," Ophardt told "He was right outside the barracks, which is where the arms rooms are."

The newly-arrived soldiers, assigned to the 23rd Military Police company, and helicopters from the 2nd Aviation Detachment are working alongside New York State Police helicopters and drones to comb the grounds around the academy.

More than 2,000 acres have already been searched, per the press release,

New York State Police dive teams are also assisting in searching the Hudson River, as well as bodies of water on West Point grounds.

Working dogs from the CSX Railroad Police are on loan to authorities for the search along railroad tracks near West Point.

Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in a previous statement that the search will continue "with all means possible, on and off West Point. Safely locating the Cadet remains our focus and number one priority."

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It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

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