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Mabus Orders Immediate Review of Navy and Marine Base Security

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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus interviewed by reporters near the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. US Navy Photo

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus interviewed by reporters near the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. US Navy Photo

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has kicked off two separate reviews of Navy and Marine Corps installation security following the Monday shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, a defense official told USNI News on Tuesday.

The first review will, “insure physical security standards are in place and are being maintained,” at Department of the Navy bases around the world, the official said.

The second longer review will evaluate if the, “correct security requirements” are being implemented on at the instillations.

In the wake of the Monday shootings that left 13 dead — including suspected shooter Aaron Alexis — reports emerged that a draft report from the Department of Defense Inspector General’s (IG) office that called into question risks the service took allowing contractors on Navy installations.

The review will be led by Adm. Bill Gortney, commander U.S. Fleet Forces, for Navy installations and Marine Lt. Gen. Rick Tryon, commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM), according to information from the service.

“I ordered a review of every Navy and Marine Corps base in the United States to ensure that we live up to our responsibility of taking care of our people,” Mabus said in a statement issued by the Navy on Tuesday afternoon.

The first review is due on Oct. 1.

The IG report on Navy security was in the works before the Monday shooting occurred, according to a Monday report from Time.

“The risks resulted from an attempt by Navy officials ‘to reduce access-control costs’,” according to the report.

The IG report was to find out if, “the Navy Commercial Access Control System [NCACS] is mitigating access-control risks to Navy installations.”

Authorities determined that Alexis was able — with a valid identification as a contractor — to enter the Washington Navy Yard with at least one firearm before allegedly killing 12 employees at the installation in Southeast D.C.

Already members of Congress are criticizing the service over the report’s findings.

“The report details critical flaws in the practice of contracting access control for military installations to non-governmental personnel,” Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), said in a Tuesday statement.
“While the timing of the delivery of this report was coincidental, I believe it to be relevant to physical security on military installations and to the committee’s hearing tomorrow on the impact of defense cuts.”

HASC is scheduled to hold a hearing at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday with all of the U.S. service chiefs to determine the impact of ongoing sequestration budget cuts on the Pentagon’s ability to operate.