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flnitcd States Senate


July 22, 2015

The Honorable Ash Carter

Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Carter,

I write regarding the need for additional security at our Armed Forces recruiting centers, reserve
centers, and other potentially vulnerable military facilities. The horrific and tragic shooting at a
Chattanooga, Tennessee Marine Corps recruiting center and U.S. Naval Reserve Center
underscores the obvious vulnerabilities at these locations. I'm sure you will agree that it is

unacceptable for our service men and women to be put in harm's way without having the
necessary protections to properly respond to everyday threats.

While you are authorized to permit civilian officers and employees of the Department of Defense
to "carry firearms or other appropriate weapons" for the purposes of defending vulnerable sites
with servicemembers and/or personal protection (See 10 USC 1585), the Department has
delegated that powerto the Services. Each of these Services has recognized that firearms may be
carried for personal protection if an authorizing official or supervising officer approves of the
request (See Army Regulation 190-14, SECNAVINST 5500.29C, MCO 5500.6H CH 1, and

AFM 17). For some reason, not all of the Services have deemed it necessary to arm individuals
at recruiting centers, reserve centers, and other potentially vulnerable military facilities despite
recent events that have shown the danger at these locations.

The Chattanooga shooting is yet another example of the especially perilous circumstances our
servicemembers face, both abroad and at home. It is no longer possible to assess the risk of
ubiquitous targets without considering the global reach of these dangers. Terrorist organizations -

and the especially heinous nature of groups like ISIS - have shown no restraint in targeting
locations once considered safe or even off-limits. The fact that terrorists, and those who are
mentally deranged, can and will target unarmed civilians and servicemembers proves that times
have changed, and the Department's policy must change with it.

I urge the Department to immediately undertake a risk assessment of all military facilities,
including Armed Services recruiting centers and reserve centers, to ensure that it is adequately
protecting servicemembers and civilians who work everyday to protect our nation. It is simply
unacceptable that a terrorist is able to target these locations to harm these individuals without

giving our highly trained personnel the ability to respond. You should thoroughly consider all of
your force protection options, including arming individuals on site with government-issued
weapons, ensuring that armed security guards are on site, improving the physical security

measures of the site, and assessing how global and domestic events may require strengthening
any of these options.
Again, the tragedy that has resulted in the death of 5 of our nation's finest serves as yet another
wakeup call that the Department can no longer rest on policies and assessments that can become
outdated at a moment's notice. We must be nimble and adapt to the nature of the threats that are
shifting around us. I am confident you will make the necessary changes, and I look forward to
hearing about them before Congress.

Joe Manchin III

Ted Cruz

United States S<

United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen

Jon Tester

United States Senator

United States Senator