Walter Reed Medical Center Had An 'Ad Hoc' Active Shooter Drill And Apparently Didn't Tell People

Wikimedia Commons

Walter Reed National Medical Center was locked down on Tuesday amid reports of a possible active shooter on the campus, although officials later said the scare was nothing more than an exercise.

The Navy's official Twitter account, for example, said it was an "ad hoc drill by tenant command."

That claim was news to many people in the area, however. Among them was Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), who was visiting the facility at the time and tweeted that he was locked down in a conference room with roughly 40 other people.

After the all clear was given, he said, "at no point was there any indication that this was a drill." Indeed, according to AP, hospital employees heard an announcement over the loudspeaker at the time, "Active shooter, this is not a drill!"

Some people in the vicinity of Walter Reed had received phone alerts at around 2:15 p.m. EST Tuesday telling them an active shooter was in the basement of Building 19 at the base.

"If you are on the installation, go to the nearest available vehicle, structure, or building that provides a measure of protection and lockdown," the alert said.

Naval Support Activity Bethesda also shared the message, and updated its Facebook page at 2:20 p.m. saying that first responders were on the scene. "Initial reports indicate there are no signs of an active shooter," it said.

All base gates had been closed, and service members and civilian employees were still on lock down as of 3 p.m. The all clear was given at 3:20 p.m., and the base was reopened at 3:39.

A Pentagon spokeswoman told Task & Purpose during the lock down that it was an exercise. But it's clear there were plenty of people who didn't get the memo.

This post was updated 11/27 5:48 p.m. EST.

The number of U.S. troops diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury following Iran's missile attack on Al- Asad Air Base in Iraq now stands at 50, the Defense Department announced on Tuesday.

Read More
"You gotta be shitting me." (Antiques Roadshow)

There's nothing quite like finding out that the nifty little trinket you blew a paycheck on when you were a junior enlisted service member is actually worth three-quarters of a million dollars. (Take that every SNCO who ever gave a counseling statement on personal finances.)

Read More

The long-awaited Special Operations Command's ethics review has finally been released, which argues that there is no "systemic ethics problem" in the special operations community while acknowledging a range of underlying problems stemming from a high operations tempo and insufficient leadership.

Read More

John Kelly, the retired Marine general who worked as President Trump's chief of staff for more than 16 months, told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida on Monday that he trusted John Bolton and thinks he should testify in the Senate impeachment trial.

"If John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton," Kelly said during a town hall lecture series, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, mentioning claims in a forthcoming memoir by Trump's former national security advisor that the president told him a freeze on military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the country opening an investigation into the Bidens.

Read More
U.S. Army/Sgt. Daphney Black

While the Army is making strides at Fort Wainwright with hopes of improving the quality of life at the base and stopping suicide, Army leaders are also reminding soldiers of one simple thing that could make a difference: Get to know your teammates, and look out for one another.

Read More