Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Six bomb threats have been called in to Navy bases in Hampton Roads today

Naval Station Norfolk

By Courtney Mabeus The Virginian-Pilot

An early morning bomb threat at Naval Station Norfolk has been followed by five others called in to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, the Navy said Wednesday.

The most recent threat came at 1:11 p.m. against the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill, which also was targeted Monday in a separate incident. Base security is responding and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating, the Navy said.

The Navy reported a threat called in at 9:20 a.m. to the dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island at Little Creek, which was cleared around 12:30 p.m. That was followed by a 9:55 a.m. threat made to the Admiral Joel T. Boone Branch Medical Clinic, which was evacuated but reopened following a search of the building, the Navy said.

At about 10:30 a.m., another threat was called in against dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall, which was cleared at 2:52 p.m., base spokesman Scott Mohr said. Pier 16 and a morale, welfare and recreation marina and the installation's harbor remained locked down. The Personnel Support Detachment on base received a threat at 10:55. That facility returned to normal operations before 11:30 a.m.

In Monday's incident against Oak Hill, someone called in a threat around 2:30 p.m. and hung up, said Lt. Michael Hatfield, a spokesman for Expeditionary Strike Group 2. It was determined to be a prank call, Hatfield said.

Base security and fire and emergency personnel responded to all locations Wednesday. Those with additional questions were asked to call the Public Affairs Office at 757-462-8425.

Wednesday's threats at the joint expeditionary base followed another early morning bomb threat miles away at Naval Station Norfolk.

Piers were locked down for several hours after the 6 a.m. call to the base's 911 line while an explosive ordnance disposal unit searched a suspicious vehicle near Pier 14 after a military dog detected something, base spokeswoman Kelly Wirfel said. It's unclear what the dog detected and a vehicle description was not immediately available.

Wirfel didn't immediately respond to calls and emails seeking further information.

The aircraft carriers USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Harry S. Truman are docked at that pier.
The piers were reopened around 11 a.m. after an all-clear was given.

What remained unclear was whether the bomb threat and finding in the vehicle were related. It's also unknown if the threats called in to the two bases were related.

NCIS is investigating, said Beth Baker, a spokeswoman for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. An NCIS spokesman could not be immediately reached Wednesday.