Lockdown lifted at US Air Force base
JACKSONVILLE, Arkansas (AP) — U.S. military officials lifted a lockdown Wednesday at Little Rock Air Force Base after determining that a report of a suspicious person was no longer credible.
An “all clear” announcement was sent across the base’s public-address system about five hours after the lockdown began. People who live on base had been urged to stay indoors.
Col. Patrick Rhatigan of the 19th Airlift Wing said the lockdown was necessary to secure airmen, their families and Air Force facilities. The wing commander said that, after a search of the base, the report of a “suspicious individual” was no longer credible.
In a statement, he apologized for the inconvenience of the shutdown. He did give details on what prompted the alarm.
Emergency crews had been on the scene, and sirens could be heard over loudspeakers outside the base’s entrance during the shutdown. The base had been conducting emergency response exercises, but officials said Wednesday’s incident was not part of the drill.
The air base is a major training site for personnel assigned to the C-130 cargo planes.