Unauthorized Man Boards VIP Transport At Andrews


The Air Force has ordered a review of security at all its facilities after an unarmed man was able get on the ramp at Joint Base Andrews and board a C-40, a military conversion of a Boeing 737-700 used to transport senior government officials. The Air Force isn’t releasing any details on the man’s identity or how he breached the security of one of its most sensitive installations but leaders have asked the Air Force Inspector General to investigate and to have a look at procedures at each of the hundreds of facilities worldwide. “Everybody is taking this very seriously,” chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

The C-40 is owned by the 89th Airlift Wing, the same organization that operates the two converted Boeing 747s and the Boeing 757s that normally operate as Air Force One. The president rarely flies on the C-40 but it is used by the vice president. It also carries cabinet-level officials and staff and senior military officers. The man was detained by base security and issued a summons for trespassing. He was turned over to local authorities because he has two outstanding warrants. He didn’t harm anyone or anything and doesn’t appear to have any links to extremist groups, according to the Air Force. “The security of our installation is paramount,” said Col. Roy Oberhaus, the vice wing commander of the 316th Wing at Joint Base Andrews. “This was a serious breach of security and Joint Base Andrews is investigating the incident to determine how this happened so it doesn’t happen again.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. I’m baffled at what excuse someone could make for being on the plane in that situation that wouldn’t result in some form of penalty besides being turned over to local police. Simply wandering onto the aircraft because nobody stopped him just doesn’t seem to hack it.

    • The “summons for trespassing” sounds more innocuous than it really is. It’s a federal offense punishable by time in federal prison.

  2. Found a hole in the fence and wanted to take a short cut to get to the other side is the usual explanation.
    And anyone who says it is impossible does not know the air force.

  3. More so than most Air Force installations, Andrews has wandering about its grounds an eclectic mix of people from the various Services as well as a plethora of government agencies, plus civilians of all sorts. No one in any type of normal dress would stand out as not belonging, so the only trick would be getting out onto the flight line and onto the aircraft, which if not scheduled for a mission wouldn’t likely be directly guarded in any special way. You can bet however he did it though, it won’t be so easy from now on.

  4. OMG! an unarmed man on a VIP transport. Doesn’t he know that this rarefied air is reserved for our superiors in civil service. I hope none of our superiors were forced to lay eyes upon him.

    In case it isn’t obvious, I have a real problem with civil servants flying around like they are 3rd world royalty. During peacetime there is no excuse for the opulence they afford themselves on our tax dollars. I understand the VC-25, but much below that, there is no excuse…