Joint Base Andrews, one of the nation’s most sensitive military bases and home to Air Force One, ended its lockdown Thursday evening after local law enforcement failed to find a man carrying an “assault-style” rifle.
The Maryland base was locked down for around two hours after a caller told security forces that an armed individual had been spotted near the base’s housing area, Maj. Lauren Hill, a spokesperson for the installation, said in a release.
A post on the Joint Base Andrews Facebook page earlier in the day described the potential suspect as a “white male, wearing a purple sweatshirt, black shorts.”
Security forces swept the installation and would continue checking on-base homes for a suspect, the base said on Facebook around 5:30 p.m. As an extra security measure, additional security forces will remain on base.
Lockdown began at 2:30 p.m. local time and ended in phases starting at 5 p.m. All personnel were allowed to leave the base at 6 p.m.
“This is not an active shooter situation, as no shots have been fired,” Hill said. “There are no reported injuries or deaths.”
Joint Base Andrews, a few miles outside Washington, is home to the fleet of blue-and-white presidential aircraft, including Air Force One and the “doomsday” 747 aircraft that can serve as the nation’s airborne nuclear command and control centers if needed.
Last month, an intruder breached the base and gained access to part of the base’s housing complex. A resident — Rahn Bass, the husband of the Air Force’s top enlisted airman — opened fire on the trespasser.
And in February 2021, a man got through the military checkpoint onto the installation, then through additional fenced secure areas to gain access to the flight line and climb into a C-40, which is the military’s 737-equivalent aircraft used to fly government officials.
Hill said the latest incident remains under investigation.
Stefanie Dazio reported from Los Angeles.
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.