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Little Rock AFB locked down amid report of suspicious person

Jul. 23, 2014 - 05:37PM   |  
Security personnel run past a C-130 aircraft on static display at the front gate of Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., on Wednesday. The base has been on lockdown since late morning.
Security personnel run past a C-130 aircraft on static display at the front gate of Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., on Wednesday. The base has been on lockdown since late morning. (Danny Johnston/The Associated Press)
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JACKSONVILLE, ARK. — Little Rock Air Force Base went on lockdown Wednesday amid reports of a suspicious person, though military officials have offered few details about the incident.

No one is allowed to enter or leave the base during the lockdown, which began at 11:45 a.m. People who live on base were urged to stay indoors, and visitors were asked to not come to the front gate.

Spokeswoman Lt. Mallory Thornton said the base took the steps "in the interest of protecting all base members," but she declined to provide details. She said more information would be released later Wednesday.

Gates allowing access to the base were closed and a line of vehicles stretched for a quarter-mile outside of the base, which is located about 15 miles northeast of Little Rock.

Christina Rivera, whose husband is an airman on base, said she'd received an automated phone call telling everyone on base to stay indoors. Rivera, who had been waiting outside the gate entrance for more than two hours, said her husband was barricaded in their bedroom with their two young children, who are 8 months old and 18 months old.

"All I want is to go home and be with my husband and my kids," she said, more than two hours after the lockdown began.

Emergency crews were on the scene, and sirens could be heard over loudspeakers outside the base's entrance. The base had been conducting emergency response exercises, but officials said Wednesday's incident was not part of the drill.

Some vehicles were allowed to leave the base after being checked by security about two hours after the lockdown began.

The base specializes in the C-130 cargo airplane and is home to the 19th Airlift Wing, the 314th Airlift Wing and the 29th Weapons Squadron. The Arkansas Air National Guard's 189th Airlift Wing is also located on base.

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