In a major security breach, a 44-year-old British man drove a vehicle onto a British air base used by U.S. troops ― and even made it onto the airfield at RAF Mildenhall before being stopped.
An aerial video broadcast by the BBC showed a dark vehicle near a CV-22 Osprey on the flightline of Mildenhall, which is near Suffolk, England, with a police vehicle behind it.
Laura Caulton, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police, confirmed that the vehicle made it onto the airfield at RAF Mildenhall, but Caulton had not seen the BBC video and could not say if he made it to the Osprey. The Air Force referred inquiries to Suffolk Police.
Suffolk Police said Monday the incident is not being treated as a terrorist incident and that the suspect was initially arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.
The incident prompted a lockdown at Mildenhall, which was lifted after the single suspect was apprehended.
Suffolk Police said on its official Twitter feed that U.S. troops opened fire, and the suspect was detained with cuts and bruises. No one else was injured, the police said.
Caulton said the investigation is still in its early stages, and the motive of the alleged intruder, who has not yet been charged, is still unknown.
“We are holding the individual in custody, and we will be interviewing him in due course,” Caulton said, adding that a decision on his charges would likely be made Tuesday.
Suffolk police said officers are not looking for anyone else in addition to the arrested suspect, and that there is not believed to be a wider threat to the public, or occupants of the base.
The BBC reported that the suspect allegedly tried to drive through a checkpoint at the base, and is now in the custody of Suffolk police. The Air Force could not immediately confirm that the suspect tried to drive through the checkpoint.
The Pentagon said in an email that the base locked down at about 1 p.m. local time, and that emergency personnel were responding to the situation.
There are about 3,000 U.S. service members at Mildenhall as well as another 900 American and British civilian employees, and about 3,000 family members.
Mildenhall is the home of the 352nd Special Operations Wing, which has more than 1,000 Air Force personnel and aircraft such as the MC-130J Commando II and the CV-22B Osprey.
The 100th Air Refueling Wing, which conducts air refueling and combat support operations throughout Europe and Africa, is also based at Mildenhall. Its two squadrons operate 15 KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.