Barletta Praises SecDef Memo on Troop Safety at Home

Jul 31, 2015
Press Release
Defense Secretary Carter Opens Door to Arming Service Members in Wake of Shootings

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today welcomed news that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has issued a memo to top military officials urging them to “develop action plans to improve the security and force protection of DoD [Department of Defense] personnel.”  Carter’s memo ordered U.S. armed services to consider new policies to improve security – including potentially allowing certain military personnel to carry firearms – following attacks on recruiting offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee that killed four marines and one sailor and wounded several others.  Barletta and 57 other members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Carter last week urging him to consider such a move.

Carter’s memo asked military leaders to “consider any additional protection measures including changes to policy and procedures that protect our force against the evolving threat.”  The Chattanooga attacks were the latest acts of domestic terrorism where service members were the targets.  In their letter to Carter, the members of Congress listed the attack at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009 in which 13 people died, and another that year in Little Rock, Arkansas that killed one person.  The members also cite disrupted domestic terrorist plots with the U.S. military as the planned targets in Illinois and Maryland.

Barletta today issued the following statement:

“This is certainly good news for service members and their loved ones, as they should be able to enjoy the peace of mind that when they report for duty here on their own soil, they will be alive to return home at the end of the day.  We trust our military service personnel to carry weapons in foreign lands to protect our freedoms, so we should absolutely give them the same level of confidence here at home.

“All of the evidence shows that there are terrorist elements right here in this country who have targeted our service members, because they represent the might and freedoms of the United States.  It is unconscionable that we would leave our brave men and women as sitting ducks when they are on duty on military installations in this country.”

Secretary Carter has asked that suggested plans be ready for his review by August 21, 2015.

 

Click here to read the original letter Rep. Barletta and other members sent to Secretary Carter.