UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at McGhee Tyson air base

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No suspicious person found on base

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — UPDATE: Officials at McGhee Tyson air base have cleared the scene and the lockdown was lifted around 2:45 p.m.

A full statement was released around 5:25 p.m. Wednesday from the 134th Air Refueling Wing at the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, confirming that “all is clear at this time” and that the “situation undoubtedly caused concern for our Airmen and the local community.”

Multiple agencies had responded to the scene on initial reports of a suspicious person. The air base had gone into lockdown for suspicious activity.

An air base spokesperson confirmed that no suspicious person, nor a rifle were found.

The 134th Air Refueling Wing at the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base released a statement Wednesday evening about the incident:

All is clear at this time at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. Earlier today at approx. 1115 the base was put into lockdown with reports of suspicious activity on base. Security Forces responded along with local, state and federal authorities. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

“This situation undoubtedly caused concern for our Airmen and the local community, but we are thankful that an Airman who thought they saw something, said something,” said Col. Ronald Selvidge, commander of the 134th Operations Group. “This is a scenario we train for and I am encouraged by the swift action of our base defenders and law enforcement agencies who immediately responded and cleared the areas, as well as all of our Airmen and civilians on base who followed the lockdown procedures we train for.”

Numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies responded within minutes of the call including Blount County Sherriff’s Office, Alcoa Police Department, Knoxville Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“We would like to thank the many local authorities who responded to our gates so quickly,” Selvidge said. “Knowing we have amazing emergency response forces able and willing to help protect our Airmen, civilians and families is certainly a blessing.”

Airmen are trained regularly on operational security procedures and are empowered to “see something, say something.” Base personnel routinely train and practice procedures for natural or other disasters, including active shooter scenarios.

134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base

EARLIER: According to Deputy Director of Public Affairs Nick Atwood with the Tennessee National Guard, the security personnel are currently working with state and federal law enforcement at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base on reports of suspicious activity.

According to the Tennessee National Guard, security personnel are currently working with state and federal law enforcement at the McGhee Tyson air base on reports of suspicious activity. There are no reports of injuries.

“The situation is developing and more information will be released as it becomes available,” the agency said.

All students, instructors and everyone at the Training and Education Center at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base has been accounted for.

There are no reports of injuries and the situation is developing. More information will be released as it becomes available.

Just after 2 p.m. Wednesday, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office said its agency was assisting security forces to “investigate suspicious activity at McGhee Tyson Airbase. This is an ongoing situation involving multiple agencies. Please find an alternate route if traveling in the area of Airbase Road, as traffic is being rerouted at Callahan and Hobbs Road.”

The lockdown event was reported at 11:15 a.m.

(Photo: WATE)
(Photo: WATE)
(Photo: WATE)

Original story:

ALCOA, Tenn. (WATE) — The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is responding to a situation at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base.

According to the Public Information Officer Travers Hurst with the airbase, there is an active shooter event. The base is on active lockdown and local law enforcement is sweeping the area.

The base is home to the 134th Air Refueling Wing.

Spokeswoman Becky Huckabee with McGhee Tyson Airport says there are no flight delays at this time.

This is a developing story. We will update you with the latest as it becomes available.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=11Lk4Iy2Yh1-ad90i7IOZFXUr_4aAhTs0&w=100%&h=480]
Google Earth view of the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. (Google Earth)
McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Blount County on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 202. (WATE)
A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper outside the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Blount County on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (WATE)

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