Fort Hood shootings and security lapse
The November 2009 shootings of more than 40 people by an Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood, Texas, revealed a wide range of security lapses at US military bases, including a failure to consider the possibility that a threat might come from an “insider,” according to a Pentagon report .
The 23-page document makes 47 different recommendations on how to improve security in the aftermath of the attack, which left 13 people dead. The report provides scant information, however, on how the security lapses contributed to the Fort Hood shootings. Pentagon officials continue to refuse to release the actual report of an independent panel into the shootings.
The recommendations include: BEttEr sCrEEnInG oF mIlItAry pErsonnEl For sIGns tHAt tHEy mAy become violent. Currently, the report said, there’s no requirement to screen soldiers for violent tendencies prior to their deployment, and post-deployment screenings rely primarily on soldiers to report their own symptoms on questionnaires. Major Nidal Hasan, who’s accused in the Fort Hood shootings, was about to be deployed to Afghanistan when he allegedly opened fire on his fellow soldiers.
ImprovED 911 EmErGEnCy CAll systEms. An InDEpEnDEnt PEntAGon review after the Fort Hood shootings determined that emergency phone systems on most military bases were not as sophisticated as those in neighbouring civilian communities and couldn’t, for example, tell dispatchers a caller’s location. The report called for the installation of better 911 systems by 2014.
TouGHEr sCrEEnInG oF CIvIlIAns workInG At US mIlItAry FACIlItIEs AnD of non-citizens working on military bases overseas. The report said that background checks on US citizen civilians “may be incomplete, limited in scope or not conducted at all.” Hasan, 39, who faces 13 murder charges and as many charges of attempted murder, was paralysed during the shooting by return fire in the worst shooting incident ever at a US military installation. He’s being held in a Texas jail. An Army psychiatrist, Hasan served at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was sent to the military’s largest installation to address the mental health needs of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but officials at Walter Reed questioned his abilities. SP