Less than two weeks ago, two separate shootings took place on military bases in the U.S. The first shooting took place at Pearl Harbor and the second one took place on a Naval Air Station in Florida.
ABC News reported on the two shootings – Shooting rampages at military installations in Florida and Hawaii that left five people dead in three days have put a spotlight on a growing U.S. security threat — insiders with access passes to government facilities, according to experts.
The carnage at Naval Air Station Pensacola and at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu are just the latest examples of the unexpected challenges military brass face in protecting armed services personnel.
“Barriers and fences are not going to stop an attack by a disaffected, mentally unwell, violence-prone individual who has access to the base,” said John Cohen, an ABC News Contributor and the former counterterrorism coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security.
The shooter who opened fire killing three people and injuring several was identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani.
Newsmax is reporting that dozens of Navy pilots have written a letter to congressmen insisting that they be permitted to carry weapons on bases, Fox News reported on Sunday.
The demand comes following the killing of three people earlier this month at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi Arabian officer training there. Two days before that, a sailor at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard fatally shot two people before killing himself.
“It is reprehensible that a military installation, much less its warfighters based there, be at the mercy of off-base, civilian law enforcement when faced with an immediate threat to their lives,” the letter states.
The pilots pointed out in the letter that one of the victims at the Pensacola base was a weapons expert who died while standing duty unarmed, stating that “ENS Joshua Kaleb Watson was a small-arms instructor and captain of the rifle team at the United States Naval Academy. Yet when charged with standing the watch, he was equipped with nothing more than a logbook and a pen.”
The letter also stressed it is “a severe irony burdening our servicemembers: that they can be entrusted to fly multimillion-dollar aircraft over hostile territory, command companies of infantrymen into battle, or captain ships around the world, all while holding the nation’s top security clearances, but when back home are not trusted to carry a simple pistol in order to protect themselves, their families and their fellow servicemembers.”