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Lots of security incidents at military bases, but no connection seen

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer
A security incident at MacDill Air Force Base last week is one of several reported at U.S. military bases this year.
A security incident at MacDill Air Force Base last week is one of several reported at U.S. military bases this year.
  • U.S. military bases see many incidents at the gates
  • Investigators have found no links between the incidents and no link to terrorism
  • Media has been more alert to base incidents since Fort Hoot shootings last year

Washington (CNN) -- The lockdown Monday morning of a Naval Air Engineering Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the latest in a number of security incidents at the gates of U.S. military bases across the country.

While the incidents have been close together, the FBI, local police and the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigative Command (CID), have found no connection and no link to terrorism.

Monday's incident involved a delivery truck driver who told a guard at the gate at Lakehurst that he had a legal firearm. That happened just as there were false reports of gunshots near another gate of the same base. The base was locked down for an hour and after an investigation, the driver was allowed to leave.

The incident followed by days a shooting at Fort Gillem, Georgia, in which a soldier was shot and killed, allegedly by a fellow soldier. Prior to that two men were arrested at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, on suspicion of trying to bring unauthorized weapons onto the base that houses the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command.

Last month, a man who had been in an altercation at a family camping area at MacDill was shot and killed by an FBI agent when he failed to stop for security forces on the base. And earlier this year, there were two incidents at Fort Hood, Texas -- one in February when one of the base gates was closed after guards discovered a live munition round during a random search; the other several weeks later when a domestic disturbance led to a soldier being shot in his home on the base.

It might lead some to question whether there is a pattern developing. When asked, Christopher Grey of the CID told CNN, "We are looking at that."

But so far, Grey said, all the investigations have led to the same conclusion that "the incidents at the gates are not connected."

These security situations, which by themselves might not garner much national attention, have been covered thoroughly in the national media, which has been more alert to base violence since the Fort Hood shooting last year, when a gunman killed 13 people and wounded 30 others.

Even though they appear to be unconnected, Grey said the increased attention means the public and the media are "on the alert, which is a good thing."

Grey said while the Army and other agencies are investigating all these incidents, none of them appears to have any link to terrorism.