“There were three layers of breakdowns,” Lt. Gen. Sami Said, the inspector general, told reporters at a Thursday briefing. “The first one — the one that really should have stopped this ball from rolling in the first place is obviously the gate [where] we had a Security Forces airman — they were distracted and did not follow a procedure.”
Aside from the man being able to access the base at the southern Virginia Gate, he entered the flight line through a broken gate, and security personnel never saw him walking toward or boarding an aircraft that was parked there, Stars and Stripes reported.
Investigators said the man was unarmed and had no ill intentions.
“When we questioned him several times as to why he was there, his response was, ‘I just wanted to see airplanes,’ " Said told reporters.
The military also doesn’t believe the man ever entered an area where the Air Force One fleet is secured.
“This individual got nowhere close to that area of the flight line,” Said announced. “And we’re 100% certain he could have never gotten close to that because the layers of security are orders of magnitude higher.”
Meanwhile, the airman who let the man on the base was not identified. He was said to be fully qualified and trained to guard all four access points to the base, but told officials that he was distracted that morning by a personal issue, according to Stars and Stripes. He has since been reprimanded, but authorities have not revealed the punishment he faced.
The internal review, which began about two weeks ago, is continuing to focus on broader security measures and other issues at the base.