(WASHINGTON) — The Secretary of Defense intends to order a physical security and access review of all military installations worldwide in the wake of a deadly shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard Monday, according to a senior Pentagon official.
The Secretary is gathering input from senior leaders Tuesday to define the parameters of the review, the official said.
Earlier Tuesday a Navy official said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus had ordered two reviews of Navy and Marine Corps facilities — a quick look at the installations to ensure that the physical security standards are being properly maintained, and a second broader examination of physical security policy.
Monday authorities said IT contractor and former sailor Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people at the Navy Yard before being he was gunned down in a firefight with police.
Another Navy official told ABC News Alexis apparently had a security card to get on the base and had legal access to the building in which the shooting occurred. A defense official said Alexis was granted Secret security clearance, the lowest of three clearances, in 2008, a year after joining the Navy Reserves. His clearance carried over into his civilian life after leaving the Navy in 2011 with an honorable discharge.
Mabus’ order came hours after the Navy said it had reviewed the findings of a Pentagon Inspector General report, long in progress before the shooting, which reportedly rapped the service for lax security for contractors at its various installations.
Late Monday TIME.com wrote that the IG report revealed the Navy, in an attempt to cut costs, “did not effectively mitigate access-control risks associated with contractor-installation access” at the Navy Yard and other facilities. TIME also cited the report when saying that 52 “convicted felons received routine unauthorized installation access, placing military personnel, attendants, civilians in installations at an increased security risk.”
However, a Navy official told ABC News that the Pentagon report focused on one access system, the Navy Commercial Access Control System [NCACS], and that was not the one used by Alexis to get into the Navy Yard. Instead, the official said Alexis used his “common access card,” or CAC, which part of a separate system and is actually more difficult to obtain.
The official said if there are faults in the NCACS system, the Navy would investigate, but according to the official, there is “no correlation” between the Pentagon IG’s report and Alexis’ ability to gain access to the Navy Yard.
Still, Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif., acknowledged Tuesday he had received a copy of the IG report from the IG’s office, saying it “details critical flaws in the practice of contracting access control for military installations to non-governmental personnel,” and the committee has scheduled briefings for its members. Tuesday afternoon the Pentagon IG published a public version of the report.
Police and military records show Alexis had multiple brushes with the law, including prior incidents involving guns, before to Monday’s shooting.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Travis Kircher, WDRB
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