~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
Have we learned nothing from 9/11?
PENSACOLA, Fla. — An aviation student from Saudi Arabia opened fire in a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning, killing three people in an attack the Saudi government quickly condemned and that U.S. officials were investigating for possible links to terrorism.
The assault, which ended when a sheriff’s deputy killed the attacker, was the second fatal shooting at a U.S. Navy base this week and prompted a massive law enforcement response and base lockdown.
Twelve people were hurt in the attack, including the two sheriff’s deputies who were the first to respond, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. One of the deputies was shot in the arm and the other in the knee, and both were expected to recover, he said.
The shooter was a member of the Saudi military who was in aviation training at the base, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference. DeSantis spokesman Helen Ferre later said that DeSantis learned about the shooter’s identity from briefings with FBI and military officials.
******Bases on high alert across the country as they look for more Saudis.
Three Saudi Nationals Were Filming Saudi Shooter’s Terror Attack Today in Florida — 6 Saudi Nationals Arrested
Numerous reports about the mass shooting Friday morning at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida that left three killed and several wounded have identified the gunman, also reported dead, as Saudi Arabian military pilot trainee — Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. (NBC News) The reports say federal investigators are looking at terrorism as a motive.
AP excerpt: “A U.S. official says the Florida Naval station shooting suspect was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia and authorities are investigating if the shooting was terrorism-related…”
From earlier reports —
Storyful found that a Twitter account using the same name as a Saudi airman suspected of opening fire at a naval base in Pensacola this morning was suspended this afternoon.
The shooter reportedly left this message before Twitter took down his account this afternoon.
.@Storyful has found that a Twitter account using the same name as a Saudi airman suspected of opening fire at a naval base in #Pensacola this morning was suspended this afternoon.
The account posted a message minutes before an active shooter was reported this morning. pic.twitter.com/Vy0QfaqfE1
THIS HAPPENED IN MAY 2019!!!!! WHY are we just learning this news? WHY did they continue with the training for the Saudis? I want to know WHY!
MAY 11, 2019
Texas: Afghan pilot training program terminated after almost half went AWOL in America
Afghan soldiers who have gone AWOL from US military bases in recent years
An important message for all Americans https://t.co/1dERarIz1R
— Douglas M. Ducote Sr. (@DouglasDucote) May 11, 2019
Source: Afghan pilot training ends after almost half went AWOL in America
A program to train Afghan attack pilots has been ended after the airmen kept going absent without leave, or AWOL, while training in the United States.
More than 40 percent of the Afghan Air Force students enrolled in the U.S.-based training program to fly the AC-208 Combat Caravan, a light attack combat aircraft, went AWOL, according to a quarterly report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.
The training took place at Fort Worth, Texas, SIGAR told Air Force Times. Northrop Grumman operates a 5,000 square-foot custom-built classroom space located at Meacham Airport in Fort Worth.
“The AC-208 Training Center of Excellence is designed to provide partner nations with instructional classroom activities and initial aircrew and maintenance training on the Northrop Grumman modified AC-208 Eliminator aircraft,” a Northrop Grumman press release reads.
Those students that did not go AWOL were pulled back to Afghanistan to complete their training. As a result, only one class graduated from the U.S.-based program. The second and third classes will continue and finish their training in Afghanistan.
SIGAR said they did not have data on whether the AWOL pilots were recovered. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, the phenomenon is neither new, nor limited to Afghan Air Force trainees.
“We found that nearly half of all foreign military trainees that went AWOL while training in the United States since 2005 were from Afghanistan (152 of 320),” SIGAR reported in October 2017. “Of the 152 AWOL Afghan trainees, 83 either fled the United States after going AWOL or remain unaccounted for.”
NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan maintains a cohort of advisers to train Afghan airmen known as Train Advise Assist Command – Air, or TAAC-Air.
TAAC-Air told the inspector general that it has a plan to continue the student training and is developing a contract solution to support the effort to train the initial group of AC-208 aircrew.
Afghan pilots are a common target for Taliban hitmen, who know taking out highly-qualified attack pilots has a major impact on the battlefield.
It is not uncommon for Afghans to go AWOL while training in the U.S., with many claiming asylum after being apprehended. Those asylum claims are sometimes approved, as was the case of an Afghan officer who slipped away from a U.S. training exercise in Massachusetts, according to the Associated Press.
The first female Afghan pilot was also granted asylum after she continuously received death threats, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Afghan Air Force has had some notable success in the past year, as A-29 attack pilots began flying night-time raids and dropping laser-guided bombs in combat without coalition advisers assisting them.
However, the operational success is tempered by shortfalls on the maintenance side of the mission. The Afghans still rely on contractor support for maintaining aircraft, and the number of Afghan airmen trained to provide airmen is consistently below authorized manpower levels.
U.S. contractors who provide maintenance assistance will not be able to stay in country to continue their work if U.S. troops are no longer in place to provide security, the Pentagon inspector general has warned in the past.
In the case of some airframes, such as UH-60 Black Hawks, Afghan pilots are not trained and qualified at a fast enough rate to keep pace with deliveries of the aircraft.
Although the Mi-17 fleet forms the backbone of the Afghan Air Force, the U.S. government plans to supply 159 UH-60 Black Hawks to Afghanistan by 2024.
There are other training programs where foreign Muslims are going AWOL, and the statistics in this article were from 2017 so likely much higher now.
Time to cancel all training of Saudi nationals and all others from countries that export terrorism around the globe! Train them in their OWN country!
Pentagon suspends military training of Saudi students after Pensacola shooting
The Pentagon announced on Tuesday it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States until further notice in the wake of the deadly shooting by a Saudi air force officer.
The decision will have far-reaching impacts, including grounding more than 300 Saudi Arabian military aviation students.
The Pentagon has also ordered a broad review of vetting procedures for international students who participate in training on US military installations and demanded the process be strengthened.
The memo signed by the deputy defense secretary, David Norquist, said the review of the vetting must be completed in 10 days, and the flight restrictions will continue throughout the review and until they are lifted by senior leaders.
There are about 850 Saudi students currently in US military training programs, according to the Pentagon. US officials said they aren’t sure how many of those would see some type of flight or other restriction, but many will.