An Osprey was damaged after a 44-year-old British man drove onto an air base in England and made it to the flightline before being stopped, the Air Force said Thursday.
Stars and Stripes first reported Wednesday that at least one aircraft was slightly damaged in the incident at RAF Mildenhall, which is near Suffolk, England.
In an email, Maj. Richard Komurek, a spokesman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, confirmed the report of the damage and said it was an Osprey. Komurek said no further details could be released, because the investigation is still ongoing.
The suspect drove onto Mildenhall Monday and made it onto the flightline before being arrested by U.S. troops, who also fired shots during the incident. The suspect was not shot, and was arrested with cuts and bruises, Suffolk Police said Monday. No one else was injured. The base was briefly locked down.
Suffolk Police said Tuesday that the suspect was detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act, which allows British law enforcement to hold someone for examination at a mental health unit, if they are believed to be a risk to themselves or others. Suffolk Police said he was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass and criminal damage, but that the incident is not being treated as terrorism.
A BBC video taken after the incident showed a dark vehicle near an Osprey on the flightline, with a police vehicle behind it.
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.