07.31.15

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Pentagon Actions to Increase Safety and Security at Military Facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to an announcement from Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter regarding security enhancements for troops at military facilities here at home:

“The tragic incident in Chattanooga that took the life of a Wisconsin Marine highlights the need for the Department of Defense to review its force protection policies, so I am pleased the Secretary of Defense is taking steps to strengthen the safety and security at our military facilities, including recruiting centers and reserve facilities. Secretary Carter has called for action plans to include consideration of posting qualified, armed force protection and physical security enhancements at these sites. We need to make certain that the brave men and women of our all-volunteer force who work in their communities are adequately protected here at home. These actions by the Department of Defense are a positive step in the right direction.”

Background

On July 22, Senator Baldwin introduced the Military Facilities Force Protection Act to better protect our men and women in uniform from the types of attacks that occurred at a military recruiting office and a Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The attack killed 5 service members including Marine Sergeant Carson Holmquist. Sergeant Holmquist was a native of Grantsburg, Wisconsin and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

On July 24, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter urging him to consider her proposals to increase safety and security at military facilities.

The Military Facilities Force Protection Act would require:

  • The posting of military police or other qualified, armed military personnel at recruiting facilities and reserve component facilities for the exclusive purpose of force protection, safety, and security;
  • If military personnel are not available, the Secretary of Defense can enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies or State National Guards for armed, force protection;
  • Specialized training for all armed, force protection personnel, including civilian law enforcement rules and procedures, state and local gun laws, and gun safety measures; and
  • Security enhancements at military facilities, including the installation of bullet-proof glass and improved video surveillance.