McConnell's security forces train for base threats


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Wichita, Kan. -- Security experts say there is probably no practical way of preventing soldiers or civilian employees from carrying guns onto big installations like Fort Hood in Texas. To properly search everyone and every vehicle would cause such traffic jams people wouldn't get to work.

The same can be said of a smaller military installation like McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita.

So McConnell's Security Forces train to be ready for any potential threat like the shooter those at Fort Hood encountered this week.

"We have to be ready," says Master Sergeant Rickie Jones with Base Security Forces.

Master Sgt. Jones says, "We try to maintain a level of training or base line for the base populous that we all can somehow effectively engage or at least respond to and hopefully deter or mitigate something from happening here."

He says if a threat occurs base operations notifies Security Forces which responds while the threat message is sent out to the base population.

"As quickly as possible. You want to get the word via email, runners, phone, patrols responding to facilities. You want to notify everyone to whatever is occurring. You want to evacuate, if possible. If not we hide. We shelter in place."

Sergeant Jones asks his own questions when he hears about such tragedies as that at Fort Hood.

"What could we have done different? That's typically what I think. Why didn't we catch it? Did anyone see it coming? Unfortunately the answers to all three of those questions is uncommon because we don't know."

Which is why they have to be ready for just about any threat.


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