A Purple Heart (DoD photo)

Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

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The main gate at Naval Air Station Pensacola is seen on Navy Boulevard in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. March 16, 2016. Picture taken March 16, 2016. (U.S. Navy/Patrick Nichols via Reuters)

NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Fla. — Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday acknowledged that a deadly shooting at this Florida military base had raised concerns about international students, but said new security measures should provide a "much higher degree of confidence."

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Naval Air Station Pensacola provides security for the Active investigation area onboard NAS Pensacola December 9, 2019. (Navy photo/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Dan Mennuto)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Defense has released some information on its revamped approach to vetting and security concerns for foreign military students in the United States.

Some initial information came Friday, a few days before Secretary of Defense Mark Esper's visit to Naval Air Station Pensacola to discuss new vetting and security procedures with installation leadership.

The DoD began its review of those procedures following the Dec. 6 shooting at NAS Pensacola that left three people dead and eight others injured. The gunman, 21-year-old Saudi lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a flight student, was fatally shot by an Escambia County sheriff's deputy.

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The main gate at Naval Air Station Pensacola is seen on Navy Boulevard in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. March 16, 2016. Picture taken March 16, 2016. (U.S. Navy/Patrick Nichols via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Thursday it would soon announce a resumption in operational training of Saudi military officers in the United States, suspended after a Saudi officer's fatal shooting of three Americans at a Florida naval base last month.

The U.S. military grounded Saudi pilots and restricted the some 850 visiting Saudi military personnel in the country to classroom training as part of a "safety stand-down" during which time it reviewed vetting procedures.

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Yeoman (Submarines) 2nd Class Ryan Smith plays "Taps" on the bugle during a memorial service in the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Dec. 19, 2019 (Navy photo/Chief Mass Communication Specialist David Holmes)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Masel and Staff Sgt. Samuel Mullins weren't carrying any weapons when they heard gunfire inside a building on their Florida base last month. Still, they ran inside, planning to confront the shooter.

As they charged toward the sound of gunfire, the Marines pulled a fire extinguisher off the wall and prepared to fight. Navy Airman Ryan Blackwell was inside the building when the Dec. 6 attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola started. The gunman, a Saudi officer who was training at the base, shot him five times through an office window.

Despite his injuries, Blackwell jumped on top of another sailor to shield her from the gunfire. He then helped lead the other sailors to safety -- all while continuing to take fire.

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Traffic on and off base is restricted after a member of the Saudi Air Force visiting the United States for military training was the suspect in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. December 6, 2019. (REUTERS/Michael Spooneybarger)

The Pentagon is kicking out 21 Saudi Arabian military students who were training in the United States, after an investigation found the students were posting jihadi or anti-American content on social media or making "some kind of contact" with child pornogaphy, Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said in a statement Monday.

The investigation came in response to the fatal shooting of three Americans last month at Naval Air Station Pensacola, where the gunman, a 21-year-old Saudi Air Force officer training there, was shot to death by local police. Eight others were wounded.

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