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Suspicious activity at McGhee Tyson shows preparedness for active shooter scenario

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 | 06:02pm

MCGHEE-TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – At approximately 11:15 a.m. EST today, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base went into lockdown procedures due to reports of a suspicious person on base. 

134th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Airmen responded immediately and were aided within minutes by local, state and federal law enforcement and emergency services agencies. After a thorough search and coordinated investigation, it was determined that there was not a credible threat. Additionally, there were no injuries or shots fired during the event. 

“Taking every report seriously, from all personnel, following through until we confirm there are no remaining threats is the right way to respond to reported suspicions,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General.  “This was a great example of a unified effort from all agencies involved and validates our security force training and personnel actions once these threats are presented.” 

“Our Airmen are trained to report any suspicious activity they observe and while this situation understandably caused concern for our Airmen until its resolution, we are thankful that someone who thought they saw something, said something,” said Col. Lee Hartley, Commander of the 134th Air Refueling Wing. “We train for scenarios like this and I am encouraged by the immediate action of our base defenders and swift action of our local, state and federal partners who responded and resolved the situation.”

Airmen are trained regularly on force protection procedures and are empowered to “see something, say something.” Base personnel are trained on and routinely practice emergency procedures for natural or other disasters, including active shooter scenarios. 

“We work diligently to develop interagency relationships throughout our community, state and region,” said Hartley.  “Situations like this illustrate an amazing level of proficiency and professionalism of our emergency response forces and demonstrate their willingness to help protect our Airmen, civilians and their families.”