A 29-year-old man was arrested March 6 after repeatedly ramming a swing arm barrier at the main entry control point of Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Air Force officials say.
The incident, first reported by the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, took place at about 1:25 p.m., according to a base spokesperson. It comes almost exactly a month after a man gained unauthorized access to the base and boarded a military transport jet.
The man “drove into the swing arm barrier multiple times with a Ford F-150 truck,” according to the spokesperson, responding to a query from Air Force Times. An Air Force security forces airman “deployed mechanical road barriers, so the individual veered across the median and into a field. He then crashed into a fence on the base’s perimeter; the reinforced fence stopped the vehicle. "
Security forces airmen detained the man, according to the spokesperson, adding that he “posed no threat to ongoing operations at Joint Base Andrews.” They discovered drug paraphernalia on the man and he appeared to be under the influence of an illegal substance, according to the statement.
“There is no evidence to suggest that he intended to breach the installation,” the spokesperson said.
Security forces cited the man for federal charges, and he was later turned over to local law enforcement for additional unrelated civilian charges.
The man has no affiliation with the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The incident is still under investigation so we are not releasing the name of the individual. He was transferred to the custody of Maryland State Police,” the spokesperson said.
An Air Force official said that in this case, security forces responded appropriately. However, the Feb. 4 incident, when a man got past base security and wound up aboard a C-40 jet used to transport VIPs is under review.
The Air Force is conducting an inspector general’s investigation into the incident and a service-wide global security review “of installation security and trends,” Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman, told Military Times last month. “Once complete, we will publicly share the results of the investigation into the breach at Joint Base Andrews. We are still gathering information and facts, but we can assure you, installation security is of critical importance to the Department of the Air Force.”
The JBA intruder entered the base a day ahead of President Joe Biden’s flight out of JBA to Delaware.
The base is home to the 316th Wing, 89th Airlift Wing and Air Force One, the 113th Wing, ANG Readiness Center, 459th Air Refueling Wing and Naval Air Facility Washington.
Known as “The President’s Wing,” the 89th Airlift Wing serves as the elite Air Mobility Command wing for transporting VIPs around the world, according to the base Facebook page.
“Not only does Andrews provide service for America’s senior officials, but also kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, popes, and local and foreign military leaders make Andrews AFB their first stop in the United States,” it states.
Technically, “Air Force One” is used to designate any Air Force aircraft carrying the president, but it is now standard practice to use the term to refer to specific planes that are equipped to transport the commander in chief, according to the White House homepage.
Today, this name refers to one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, which carry the tail codes 28000 and 29000.
The Air Force designation for the aircraft is VC-25A. It is only referred to as Air Force One when the president is on board.
White House officials told Military Times the intruder never got close to that aircraft.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.