Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TOP STORY >> LRAFB always ready

Leader senior staff writer

Security measures at Little Rock Air Force Base’s main gate seemed unchanged a day after civilian contractor and former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis, 34, shot 12 people dead and wounded another three before being shot dead on Monday by local law-enforcement officers at the Washington Navy Yard.

No changes seemed evident as civilians entered the base here Tuesday. That appeared to be the case at bases and installations around the country, but the Defense Department is expected to announce Wednesday a review of security measures at all U.S. millitary bases around the world.

“We really can’t discuss any security postures,” said Arlo Taylor, a Little Rock Air Force Base public affairs spokesman. He said only that the base’s security force specialists were manning the gate, which is standard.

Tuesday morning, just a week after the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed about 3,000 people at New York’s Twin Towers Trade Center, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid a wreath at the Navy Memorial’s “Lone Sailor” statue in memory of the 12 victims.


The Defense Department, which sets baseline security levels for all military installations in the U.S., ordered no known security changes other than those in the Washington area in the hours following the shootings while officials sorted out the details and implications of the attack.

Both law-enforcement and defense officials say they believe this was the work of a lone gunman.

It would be extraordinarily difficult to prevent any attack from occurring, particularly by a “lone wolf,” according to Joseph Trevithick of GlobalSecurity.org.

“Unfortunately, terrorism and similar acts of violence are bound only by the creativity of those responsible,” Trevithick wrote in an article published Tuesday on CNN.com. “The burden is always on those tasked with protecting us to prepare for such events.”


Trevithick said that even if employees would submit to airport-style security checks, were willing to have their vehicles searched or dismantled, there were no guarantees.

Chris Grollnek, founder of the Texas-based Counter-measure Consulting Group, said some installations have made more progress on security than others. Trying to prevent incidents before they take place can be tricky because it’s usually impossible to identify suspects in advance.

“They’re black, they’re white, they’re men, they’re women —no one knows what the profile is,” he said.

Grollnek consults and provides training in active-shooter scenarios and risk assessment.