Pentagon gives conditional OK to resume Saudi training in US after Florida base shooting

National
Naval Air Base Station

FILE- In this Jan. 29, 2016 file photo shows the entrance to the Naval Air Base Station in Pensacola, Fla. The US Navy is confirming that an active shooter and one other person are dead after gunfire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Area hospital representatives tell The Associated Press that at least 11 people were hospitalized. The base remains locked down amid a huge law enforcement response. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has given the Navy and other military services conditional approval to resume training of Saudi Arabian nationals in the U.S.

Operational training, such as flying and other non-classroom work, for the approximately 850 Saudis at multiple U.S bases was suspended on Dec. 10. That was four days after one Saudi trainee shot and killed three U.S. Navy service members at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist said in a memo dated Jan. 17 and released Tuesday that non-classroom training can resume once the military services have met certain conditions, including implementing a prohibition on the possession — on or off U.S. military property — of privately owned firearms and ammunition by international military students and their families.

The military services must also ensure that all international military students are under continuous monitoring for potentially disqualifying behavior. The continuous monitoring, which was ordered last week by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, is intended to allow U.S. officials to pick up on signs of radicalization or other problematic behavior that might not have been apparent when the student entered the training program.

The military services must also take steps to transition most international military students to credentials that limit physical access to those Defense Department facilities for which they have a bona fide requirement to access.

Norquist set no firm date for resumption of the training. It is up to the military services to meet the conditions first, and then notify the Pentagon agency that is responsible for overseeing international training programs.

Last week, the Justice Department announced that 21 Saudi military students were sent home after a review of all Saudi trainees. The 21, including an undisclosed number at Pensacola, had jihadist or anti-American sentiments on social media pages or had “contact with child pornography,” including in internet chat rooms, officials said. None is accused of having had advance knowledge of the Dec. 6 shooting or helped the gunman carry it out.

The shooting at Pensacola in which Saudi Air Force officer Mohammed Alshamrani killed three U.S. sailors and injured eight other people focused public attention on the presence of foreign students in American military training programs and exposed shortcomings in the screening of cadets.

LATEST NATIONAL NEWS:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

FL Strawberry Festival gets off to a "berry" cold start

Thumbnail for the video titled "FL Strawberry Festival gets off to a "berry" cold start"

11 dog stolen pkg

Thumbnail for the video titled "11 dog stolen pkg"

8 On Your Side flies with Air Force ahead of Tampa Bay Airfest 2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "8 On Your Side flies with Air Force ahead of Tampa Bay Airfest 2020"

City of Tampa to maintain Memorial Park Cemetery

Thumbnail for the video titled "City of Tampa to maintain Memorial Park Cemetery"

“Here we are again”: Polk man runs another chop shop out of same property, deputies say

Thumbnail for the video titled "“Here we are again”: Polk man runs another chop shop out of same property, deputies say"

Suspect in serious-condition following deputy-involved shooting in Manatee County

Thumbnail for the video titled "Suspect in serious-condition following deputy-involved shooting in Manatee County"

Grilled cheese stand satisfies savory cravings at Florida Strawberry Festival

Thumbnail for the video titled "Grilled cheese stand satisfies savory cravings at Florida Strawberry Festival"

Sarasota man and three-legged dog train for American Ninja Warrior

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sarasota man and three-legged dog train for American Ninja Warrior"

Some Tampa streets reopen after CSX ‘rogue’ railroad repairs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Some Tampa streets reopen after CSX ‘rogue’ railroad repairs"

Solar customers left in the dark

Thumbnail for the video titled "Solar customers left in the dark"

Largo man accused of killing mom, stepsister with a machete during argument about money

Thumbnail for the video titled "Largo man accused of killing mom, stepsister with a machete during argument about money"

Strawberry cream cheese calzone available at Florida Strawberry Festival

Thumbnail for the video titled "Strawberry cream cheese calzone available at Florida Strawberry Festival"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss