Tags: pensacola | pearl harbor | military | shootings

Navy Pilots Demand Right to Be Armed on Bases

naval air station pensacola
An entrance to Naval Air Station Pensacola (Melissa Nelson/AP)

By    |   Sunday, 15 December 2019 07:49 PM

Dozens of Navy pilots have written a letter to congressmen insisting that they be permitted to carry weapons on bases, Fox News reported on Sunday.

The demand comes following the killing of three people earlier this month at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi Arabian officer training there. Two days before that, a sailor at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard fatally shot two people before killing himself.

"It is reprehensible that a military installation, much less its warfighters based there, be at the mercy of off-base, civilian law enforcement when faced with an immediate threat to their lives," the letter states.

The pilots pointed out in the letter that one of the victims at the Pensacola base was a weapons expert who died while standing duty unarmed, stating that "ENS Joshua Kaleb Watson was a small-arms instructor and captain of the rifle team at the United States Naval Academy. Yet when charged with standing the watch, he was equipped with nothing more than a logbook and a pen."

The letter also stressed it is "a severe irony burdening our servicemembers: that they can be entrusted to fly multimillion-dollar aircraft over hostile territory, command companies of infantrymen into battle, or captain ships around the world, all while holding the nation's top security clearances, but when back home are not trusted to carry a simple pistol in order to protect themselves, their families and their fellow servicemembers."

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said a few days ago he was not familiar with anyone considering such a proposal at this time, The Hill reported.

Hoffman pointed out that "both in Pearl Harbor and in Pensacola, that our armed law enforcement on the bases both were able to respond to the shootings in a very rapid manner and engage with and address the shootings."

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Dozens of Navy pilots have written a letter to congressmen insisting that they be permitted to carry weapons on bases, Fox News reported on Sunday.
pensacola, pearl harbor, military, shootings
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2019-49-15
Sunday, 15 December 2019 07:49 PM
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