Rep. Mike Turner is demanding that the Pentagon provide information on security measures at U.S. naval installations following Monday's shooting at the Navy’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.
"Given the disturbing events of today, I am highly concerned that the access control systems at our nation’s military installations have serious security flaws," the Ohio Republican who serves on the House Armed Services Committee wrote to Pentagon Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks on Monday, according to The Hill.
“Potentially numerous felons may have been able to gain unrestricted access to several military installations across the country due to the insufficient background checks, increasing the risk to our military personnel and civilian employees,” he said.
Turner’s letter was sent just hours after a former U.S. sailor killed a dozen people and wounded over 30 at the Navy Yard, just a few blocks from the nation's Capitol. Navy veteran Aaron Alexis, 34, who entered the complex Monday morning, served from 2007 to 2011.
While in the Navy, Alexis was reportedly arrested on misdemeanor weapons charges in Fort Worth, Texas. There were reports that he may have been hired recently as a government subcontractor at the Navy Yard. But The Hill reported that it was still unclear Tuesday how he gained access to the service headquarters at the Navy complex.
Turner, whose district includes Wright Patterson Air Force base, said the security breach could have been allowed to happen because the Navy scrimped on security to save money. He asked for more information on a pending audit intended to gauge the adequacy of the Navy’s security procedures, reports The Plain Dealer.
“It is my understanding the IG report indicates the Navy may have implemented an unproven system in order to cut costs,” he wrote.
Turner also said he heard that an initial draft of the audit, started last year, was released after the shooting.
“Following this tragedy, it is imperative that Members of Congress be thoroughly briefed on the outcome of this audit, as it is directly linked to the security of our uniformed and civilian personnel,” he wrote.
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