US increases security at air force bases

3 December 2015 (Last Updated December 3rd, 2015 18:30)

The US is stepping up security measures for its defense personnel and their families, following the defense secretary's directive after the shooting at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July.

The US is stepping up security measures for its defense personnel and their families, following the defense secretary's directive after the shooting at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July.

Four marines were killed in the attack.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has asked the secretaries of the military departments to improve physical and procedural security of defence personnel. Measures such as mass warning, alert notification capabilities and security enhancement will be introduced.

"We take the safety of our service members, civilians and their families who support them seriously and continue to examine ways to make our installations and facilities safer."

The more stringent security measures are aimed at mitigating the risk of such violent attacks directed toward airmen, based in and outside the camp.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said: "In the wake of the tragedies at Fort Hood, the Navy Yard and Chattanooga, we worked closely with DOD, the Joint Staff and other services to identify and provide effective and long-lasting force protection enhancements.

"We take the safety of our service members, civilians and their families who support them seriously and continue to examine ways to make our installations and facilities safer."

Emergency action plans and their execution through training exercises will be carried out twice a year at US Air Force's off-installation facilities.

"As part of this commitment, we increased the number of armed security forces on base through several arming programmes, are enhancing force protection measures at off-installation facilities, and are working on long-term mass notification systems.

"Commanders remain fully empowered and are expected to make arming decisions for off-installation facilities consistent with existing authorities.

"They are also best positioned to balance the mission with the threat and determine the appropriate level of security required for a given facility," James added.

On Wednesday, the Kirtland Air Force base was closed for a few hours after 'gunshots' were heard in the vicinity. According to media reports, the shots proved to be sounds made from bubble wrap.