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NAS Pensacola Pilot to Bosses: ‘Our Message is Simple: Arm Us’

NAS Pensacola Pilot to Bosses: ‘Our Message is Simple: Arm Us’

Mother of one of the victims: “It doesn’t really anger me as much as it hurts me. My baby was standing watch and he lost his life because he wasn’t armed.”

Navy instructor pilots have demanded their bosses allow them to carry weapons on their bases.

The request comes after Saudi Arabian Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani shot and killed three sailors and wounded eight others. For 10 minutes, he shot up the API (aviation pre-flight indoctrination) building.

The instructors spoke to Fox News but did not provide their names because they do not have the authorization to speak to the media.

From Fox News:

The instructor pilots said the incentive to arm was obvious. “We need to protect not just the pilots, but our aircraft that are worth millions.”

One pilot called base security at NAS Pensacola and other Navy bases “mall cops,” because protection on the base has been outsourced to private security and many were “fat and out of shape.”

“I have zero confidence the guy I show my ID card to at the gate could save me,” one pilot added. Fox News spoke to three Navy instructor pilots Tuesday.

It’s an opinion shared by many across the military, including the U.S. Army; more than a dozen soldiers and an unborn child were gunned down at Fort Hood in 2009.

“We trust 18-year-old privates in combat with grenades, anti-tank missiles, rifles and machine guns, but we let service members get slaughtered because we don’t trust anyone to be armed back here in the United States,” a senior U.S. Army officer told Fox News.

“Why are we cowering in our offices, it’s insane,” the officer added.

The instructors find it “insulting” that cops off base were the first responders:

“Our message is simple: arm us,” one pilot said. “We don’t want to count on cops or gate guards to save us in a crisis.”

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, passed away in the shooting. His family pushed “military officers to allow service members to protect themselves on base.” They said on Fox and Friends:

“He was well qualified to have a firearm and defend himself. If we are going to ask these young men and women to stand watch for our country, they need the opportunity to defend themselves. This isn’t the first time this happened and if we don’t change something, then it won’t be the last,” said Adam Watson, Joshua’s brother. “My brother was an excellent marksman. If my brother had not had that right stripped from him, this would be a different conversation.”

Joshua’s mother, Sheila, agreed.

“He was my baby. It hurts me. It doesn’t really anger me as much as it hurts me. My baby was standing watch and he lost his life because he wasn’t armed,” she said.


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IIRC, this “no weapons” BS really took off when Bill Clinton became NCA.

Do not in any way denigrate the job that the deputies that did save your ass did.

    barnesto in reply to Anchovy. | December 11, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    the comment was a disparagement of LEOs. it was condemning the fact that because service members aren’t allowed to be armed on base (thanks, Bill Clinton!), outsiders become the go to first responders. instead of, you know, people in the military, who are trained to handle firearms are are ostensibly there to protect their own.

      initially started bush senior then solidified under clinton. I got out of army 8 months after bush inaugurated and saw the initial starts to this. and once started was like a steamroller..

Guns? In the Woker-Than-Thou US Military? Perish the thought!

Our soldiers should instead sue the enemy, or pontificate on CNN about microaggressions, or – be still my beating heart! – write a bestseller about toxic masculinity for the Oprah Book-of-the-Month club.

The saying is true: When seconds count the police are only minutes away. It’s a literal tragedy that our trained soldiers are not allowed to carry.

For 10 minutes, he shot up the API
It has to be said…
When seconds count, the police are just minutes away!

There is strength in numbers. What would happen if every pilot refused to fly until armed? How many US pilots across services? Would the military dare to court martial all pilots for saying enough is enough? It’s a reasonable request.

    redc1c4 in reply to walls. | December 11, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    they’d be court-martialed and drummed out of the military with something less than an Honorable discharge.

    MajorWood in reply to walls. | December 11, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Rather, Trump should order every base commander to arm the troops at a certain level (to ensure coverage) and then purge each and every base commander who doesn’t comply. That would solve two problems, security and the Obamma leftovers.

      Firewatch in reply to MajorWood. | December 12, 2019 at 10:29 am

      I may have to raise my trust level to O-4 occasionally. Anything over E-7 Gunnery Sgt is temporary. After Vietnam there were purges and it needs to happen again to remove the Obama stain from the military.

Respectfully, ma’am, you’ve made a frequent mistake by identifying Naval Air Stations as NSA.
It is NAS Pensacola.

Oh, and the Saudi was a horrible tactician. He had 10 minutes and he only managed to kill 3 people and wound 8.

Our military (nor anyone who works or has business in any gov’t facility – like Va Beach’s municipal buildings) should not have to rely on LUCK or the enemy’s INCOMPETENCE in a circumstance like this.

Arm our citizens – EVERYWHERE!

    Gremlin1974 in reply to GWB. | December 11, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Think about the shooting at Ft. Hood. The cops that responded just happened to be across the street getting their car worked on, so the response to that one was purely accidental.

and he lost his life because he wasn’t armed,” she said.

Well, that isn’t the only factor, or even the most important one. Nothing untoward would have happened if the military wasn’t importing wacky Muslims.

“protection on the base has been outsourced to private security”

Why are they not using the U.S> Marines to provide security? Does anyone really believe that rent-a-cops are better trained and equipped?

Sheer insanity.

    bobtuba in reply to irv. | December 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    No contract graft possibilities with military guards.

    Virginia42 in reply to irv. | December 12, 2019 at 4:24 am

    Because outsourcing basic military responsibilities is a stupidity that’s been going on since the 90s and the “reforms” that kicked off at the end of Bush Sr. and especially under Clinton.

    Got worse under Bush 2 and certainly didn’t improve under Obamunism.

OleDirtyBarrister | December 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm

The politicians in D.C. are as scared of soldiers, sailors, and airmen being armed on a day to day basis as they are about citizens being well armed. They don’t want them all armed the next time they screw servicemen over in one way or another.

On a practical level, it is silly and adversely affects the personnel.

I lived on NAS Pensacola for several years in the 1960s. Back then, the sailors and Marines who guarded aircraft, ships, and installations were always armed. Anyone who was assigned to stand watch was issued a weapon, either a rifle or a handgun, depending on their job and rank. The idea of standing watch unarmed was as ludicrous then as it is now.

In the 1960s, the base police were civilians, as stated above. We called them “rent-a-cops” or “Pinkies.” I always thought the reason for civilian cops was so that they could enforce the rules irrespective of rank and position. It’s hard for enlisted Shore Patrol to arrest a Captain or Admiral for a DUI, but the civilian rent-a-cops don’t care about rank.

The disarmed forces need to wake up and re-learn to protect themselves. It’s fine to use civilian cops to enforce traffic rules and maybe to check ID’s at the main gates. But military security requires armed soldiers and sailors who are trained to protect their ships, aircraft, personnel, and military installations. Whoever made the decision to turn military installations into gun-free zones was and is guilty of dereliction of duty.

Pardon my language, but how in the name of satan’s taint can you “stand watch” without a weapon? Especially on a military installation?

    snopercod in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 11, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    When I was in basic training in the Army, that’s how it was done. We had our M-14s with no bullets. We weren’t protecting anything – it was only a test to see if we could stay awake all night.

    Firewatch in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 12, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Define watch. Sound like first to die would be a good definition.

I’ve seen updated requirements for rifle quals coming in the near future of my Marine Corps. Some of those changes required qualification in combat gear. As was included in aviators gear and carried by all hands, on and off base when deployed. So why not carried in the U S of A? Call it practice, familiarization, safety, and maybe eliminate the ‘gun free zones’ that protect(?) our own. As a vet I’m expecting many changes to come in the ‘New Corps’ hopefully ending such nonsense.

Disgraceful,alarming policy. Idiots in charge who shouldn’t be.

the closer an armed individual is to one of these lone wolf attacks the better chance they have of interdicting the shooter/attack quickly–can be done hand-to-hand of course but a bit more daunting–and the responder must be trained indeed–not some rent-a-cop/security guard

What burns my arse (pardon the French)is that civil LEO oth active and retired are allowed under laws to carry arms even is so called “gun free” zones, Yet active and retired Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officer of our United States ARMED Services are prohibited of this vital necessity. I have been screened and authorized to handle nuclear weapons, but can’t seem to be trusted with a small pistol.

Our national strategy is based on Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). This philosophy seems to work well on a macro level yet ignored on a micro level. When exercising military privileges we are subject to military discipline.

And furthermore, as a cadet at The Citadel,I was armed with a military weapon (USAF provided M-1). Although the weapon had the firing pin removed, the general public did not know this fact and had to assume the weapon was functional. We were expected to treat this assigned weapon as functional. Wen visiting my daughter at the US Air Force Academy I became aware as a trained service member that the cadets were issued rubber dummy weapons. It was obvious due to the way they treated these things like rubber toys.

Several interconnected issues here so let’s peel the onion.

1. Personal weapons on base: IMO yes if passed state carry class and the weapon is in a locked case in the car. No way could you allow carry on base.
2. Arming Staff duty/CQ/watchstanding: absolutely yes. This creates a deterrent and a limited localized response to an active shooter.
3. Contract security vs Military personnel. This is more complex.
First you have to weigh the Time spent on guard duty vs time spent training vs time performing normal military job. The trade off is the time/money doing one or the other, all of which have to get done. Simply saying ‘put Soldiers on the gate’ without accounting for and accepting the hit in terms of available personnel, PO troops who were in a month long field exercise and now have to pull gate guard duty maybe doesn’t reenlist over that kind of BS, so all training cost and experience of that troop is lost. Etc.
Second Almost without exception every contract security officer I came into contact with was a veteran and or a retired LEO. Because they also performed a LEO patrol function in support of MP they were also state LEO certified. So NOT rent a cops at least in my experience on Army installation.

Here are a few observations in this incredibly STUPID policy:

1. NO ONE WAS ARMED – let us, for a moment hearken back to Beirut when Muslims ran an explosives-filled truck through a Marine Corps gate. The Marines, under the then-ROE, did not start shooting until it was too late. 241 Marines, Sailors, and Airmen died in that attack.

2. THERE IS NO BARRIER – simply put, NAS Pensacola is an open base, only common courtesy and a law-abiding citizen willing to stop for an ID check prevents unauthorized access.

3. LITERALLY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF EQUIPMENT AND (more importantly) HIGHLY TRAINED PERSONNEL ARE LOCATED ON THE BASE – aircraft, maintenance equipment, computers, Naval Aviators, Naval Flight Officers, Aircrew, etc. are also unarmed and walking around.

What do these observations mean? Quite simply ANYONE with a grudge against this Country can load explosives into a truck, run straight through the WIDE OPEN GATE drive straight to the Flight Line and BOOOM! Or, fill the truck with terrorists armed with automatic weapons, park the truck and then release “the Dogs of War”. End result – LOTS of Americans killed by people who simply hate us and willingly kill themselves for Jihad.

Not only do we need to get rid of this ludicrous policy of not permitting serving members of the Armed Forces on base, but secure the damned base (and others like it). Quick reaction pneumatic barriers at the gate, guards armed with military-grade weapons with a Quick Reaction Force armed with MUCH heavier weapons within easy rifle range. A clear ‘kill-zone’ around the gate. More importantly, change the ROE so that trained gate guards can respond with appropriate force as needed.

There are very good reason why military people are not armed in garrison. In the first place, it is not necessary to performance of mission in garrison. The second is because people do stupid things with firearms and military members are no exception.

The real problem with base security, in CONUS, is the mindset that security is not really needed in these facilities. This is not a new mindset, it has been around for decades. It has gotten worse in recent years, however. Many facilities have civilian contract personnel performing security functions, instead of military personnel. Security presence is often so reduced as to be almost non-existent. Training facilities are the worst, as they see a heightened number of transient personnel coming and going on a limited basis.

But, the bottom line to these lone wolf terrorist attacks is that they can not be avoided, unless the military begins to investigate and segregate any personnel, or others having access to base facilities, who exhibit any signs of abnormal or dangerous behavior. But, in the “woke” military establishment, this is unlikely to happen.