Serial Errors Allowed Mouse-Eared Intruder To Board C-40B
A U.S. Air Force guard allowed a civilian with a criminal record who wore a reddish hat with balls on top that resembled mouse ears to pass through a gate into Joint Base Andrews Bolling, Maryland on Feb. 4, and 5 hr. later the intruder reached the flight line and boarded a parked Boeing C-40B, according to a newly-released Inspector General report.
The report also revealed how the unidentified intruder gained access to a flight line that includes the presidential airlift fleet. A defect in a gate to the flight line created a 1-ft. gap, which the intruder walked through onto the flight line. The man then boarded a C-40B with two airmen inside, but he left the aircraft after a few minutes without being stopped despite not having a restricted area badge, the Air Force IG report said.
Security Forces guards, who were alerted by airmen in the passenger terminal, stopped the intruder on the flight line and arrested him more than 5 hr. after he was waved onto the base by another guard, the report said.
The gate guard “got complacent and did not follow procedures,” the IG report concluded. The driver was supposed to present identification through his car window, but he was waived onto the base by the guard without checking whether he was authorized, the report said. The human error was compounded by an undetected malfunction that left a gap in a gate that led to the flight line.
Once on the flight line, the intruder was not detected by security forces despite his unusual hat, as they were focused on more restricted areas of the installation, the report says. Two airmen on board the C-40B were focused on training and felt secure on a U.S. installation, so never challenged the man after he boarded and walked to the back of the aircraft.
Security forces only responded after two “astute” airmen working at the passenger terminal noticed a man wearing an unusual hat walking on the flight line, the report said. The intruder was detained less than 2 min. later.