The Air Force unit to which the Air Guardsman who is suspected of leaking classified documents online was assigned is “not currently performing its assigned intelligence mission,” the Air Force said Tuesday in a statement.
The secretary of the Air Force has directed the Air Force Inspector General to investigate the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing.
“The mission has been temporarily reassigned to other organizations within the Air Force,” the statement said.
“I’ve tasked our inspector general to go look at the unit and anything associated with this leak that could have gone wrong, from the point of view of implementing our policies to see what things allowed this to happen,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said during a Senate subcommittee hearing on defense appropriations.
Typically, the 102nd Intelligence Wing is a “24/7 operational mission” that takes in intelligence from various sources and packages it into a product for combatant commanders, a defense official previously told CNN.
In addition to the inspector general’s review, the “entire force” has been told to conduct a stand-down to review security practices and conduct additional training, Kendall said Tuesday.
In a separate statement, signed by Air Force leadership, Kendall added the stand-down must be conducted within the next 30 days and will “reassess our security posture and procedures, validate the need to know for each person’s access, and emphasize to all Airmen and Guardians the responsibility we are entrusted with to safeguard this information and to enforce and improve our security requirements.”
“There is a full-court press going on about this,” Kendall told lawmakers, adding, “and we’re all disturbed about it and we’re working very, very hard to get to the bottom of it.”
Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the Air Force chief of staff, said during the hearing that while there are protections in place to protect classified information, “in this case, this process fell apart.” Brown also said the airman, Jack Teixeira, had access for information but “didn’t necessarily have need-to-know for some of the information.”
“We’re going through an ongoing investigation associated with that, and then also determining how he was able to distribute. So, we have an ongoing investigation and we have a process of looking at accountability, not only from a criminal point standpoint for the individual, but also as we look at the organization itself.”