Local News

Pentagon Studying Stateside Base Safety

Posted July 2, 2001 10:30 a.m. EDT

— Security at America's key military posts is coming under scrutiny. It is not just terrorist threats that concern the Pentagon; simple theft is also a problem.

American military outposts overseas get most of the attention and money to avert possible terrorist attacks. Officials are now taking a look at stateside bases as well.

Commanders from coast to coast say they need more people and more money to protect troops and their families from what some believe is an inevitable attack on U.S. soil.

Fort Bragg is an open post with unrestricted vehicle access. Three state highways run through it. There are 11 miles of railroad, eight schools and 11 shopping centers, all on government property.

Fort Bragg Army Colonel Addison Davis says budgets for anti-terrorism programs have been declining since 1999.

This year, Fort Bragg received $144,000 for anti-terrorism efforts. That compares to $500,000 in 1999.

Both amounts are considerably less than the nearly $1 million the post had asked for this year.

Government researchers say changes can be made by altering how troops operate.

Theft is also a big issue. By the end of the summer, the Pentagon should have a much better picture of just how safe stateside military posts are. That is when results of a study now under way are expected to be released.