The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the bomb threat that caused Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of Walter Reed National Medical Center, to be placed on lockdown for several hours Wednesday. Operations there have since returned to normal.
The incident started with a telephoned bomb threat at about 8:45 a.m., officials said. To protect the population, an installation-wide shelter-in-place was issued, according to a tweet from the installation.
“After a thorough search by six K-9 teams from NIH and Naval District Washington, no device was found, all WRB buildings were cleared, and a full shelter-in-place was lifted at 1:15 p.m.,” officials said. By 2:45 p.m. resumed normal traffic operations at all gates, according to the installation’s Twitter account.
The installation reported an anonymous bomb threat at 8:45 a.m “at or near” building 10, along with a potential active shooter, prompting officials to “lockdown” the base and issue a shelter in place order.
Until 12:45 p.m., all gates were closed to non-emergency traffic, while the public was asked to avoid the area.
An update by NSA Bethesda via Twitter at 10 a.m. stated that it had been determined that there was no active shooter threat, but a bomb threat was still under investigation.
“NSA Bethesda is grateful for all of the teammates from DoD and other agencies who were immediately prepared to assist,” officials said in a tweet, “including NIH, Naval District Washington, Montgomery County, DC’s MPD, hospital leadership, the City of Annapolis, Andrews AFB, NCIS and others from across the local area.”
James R. Webb is a rapid response reporter for Military Times. He served as a US Marine infantryman in Iraq. Additionally, he has worked as a Legislative Assistant in the US Senate and as an embedded photographer in Afghanistan.