joint base andrews

Unauthorized Man Breaches Security at Joint Base Andrews, Gets on Aircraft

Joint Base Andrews
NBCWashington

An unauthorized man got into Joint Base Andrews Thursday and got on to an aircraft, officials said.

The C-40 aircraft assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing “wasn’t tasked for a mission,” an official said. The 89th Airlift Wing serves the president, vice president, cabinet members and senior military officials.

“I think everybody's taking this very seriously, and the acting secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff are going to order the Air Force inspector general to fully investigate this issue,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on Friday. 

The man was unarmed and didn’t harm anyone, according to Joint Base Andrews. There’s no information linking him to extremist groups.

The man was detained, interviewed and given a federal summons for trespassing. He is in the Prince George's County, Maryland, jail awaiting transfer to Arlington County, Virginia, where he is wanted for failing to appear for a December hearing on a stolen vehicle charge from August.

The Arlington County sheriff identified him as 36-year-old Joseph Armstrong.

"The security of our installation is paramount," said Col. Roy Oberhaus, the vice wing commander of the 316th Wing at Joint Base Andrews. "This was a serious breach of security, and Joint Base Andrews is investigating the incident to determine how this happened so it doesn't happen again."

Additional security measures have been ordered at the base.

The incident occurred a day before President Joe Biden was due to fly from Andrews to Wilmington, Delaware, according to a schedule released by the White House. 

Joint Base Andrews in Maryland is about 14 miles southeast of D.C.

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