USAF Says Boarding of C-40 VIP Transport At Joint Base Andrews Not Linked to Extremist Protests at Capitol.
The Public Affairs office of the 316th Wing at Joint Base Andrews has issued an official media release about the security incident at the base on February 5, 2021. The official release follows early indications on social media and other reports that the incident had involved a smaller Gulfstream C-37 transport. The official acknowledgement of the incident confirms that the aircraft involved was a larger Boeing C-40 VIP transport, a military version of 737 airliner.
The updated, official report says, “An adult male gained access to Joint Base Andrews yesterday. The individual gained unauthorized access to the flight line and entered a C-40 aircraft assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing. Joint Base Andrews Security Forces responded, detained and interviewed the individual. U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations assisted in the interview.” The official media release goes on to say, “He was booked by OSI and given federal summons for trespassing. He was turned over to local law enforcement, given that he had two outstanding warrants. The man was unarmed and did not harm any personnel and there is no indication that individual has any links to extremist groups.”
In the media release, USAF Col. Roy Oberhaus, vice wing commander of the 316th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, said, “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.”
The report, which initially surfaced from an anonymous source familiar with the facility, says that an unidentified person gained unauthorized entry to Joint Base Andrews between 1330 and 1400 local on Thursday, February 4, 2021, and boarded a C-37 VIP transport without being detected. Today’s official acknowledgement of the incident corrects the information about the type of aircraft boarded, reporting it was the larger C-40 aircraft, not the smaller C-37 as initially reported.
The Boeing C-40B and C Clipper are twin engine, turbofan VIP transport and special airlift aircraft built by Boeing and usually employed in the transportation of high ranking government and military officials. The aircraft are based on the civilian Boeing 737-400 airliner. There are four of the C-40B and seven of the C-40C aircraft in service with the USAF.
The story, verified by sources late Thursday and confirmed on Friday, February 5, 2021, follows a turbulent month in the U.S. capital that included the storming of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. by protesters on January 6, 2021, and a series of questions about security in the U.S. capital. Five people died in the January 6 Capitol incursion. Many of the persons identified in the unauthorized entry of the Capitol building were subsequently arrested based on video and photo identification and tips from around the United States. As stated by officials at Joint Base Andrews, there appears to be no link between Thursday’s security incident and the violence at the Capitol, but concerns about additional unrest following the swearing-in of new U.S. President Joe Biden have remained.