Malmstrom Air Base In Montana On Lockdown After Reports Of ‘Active Shooter’

 February 16, 2024

A tense morning unfolded at Malmstrom Air Base in Montana when an active shooter alert sent the facility into a temporary lockdown.

The event was later deemed a false alarm caused by a reported "suspicious person" on the premises, thankfully ending with no injuries or casualties.

The base’s Facebook page was the first to communicate the crisis, issuing an order at 10:29 am CST to shelter in place. This announcement coincided with a scheduled training exercise, leading to initial confusion. Despite the timing, Air Force officials quickly clarified that the alert related to an actual potential threat, not the day's planned activities.

The all-clear was given by the base at 12:39 pm local time, lifting the lockdown that had been instituted due to concerns over a "suspicious person." This resolution came with the reassurance that no shots had been fired and everyone on the base remained unharmed. Following this, the base reverted to FPCON Bravo status as a sign that normal operations could resume.

A community on alert: Local response to the Malmstrom incident

Great Falls Police Department's social media warned residents of a significant law enforcement presence, emphasizing the critical nature of the situation while also urging against non-essential 911 calls.

An announcement was made on their Facebook page earlier on Thursday, stating:

REAL WORLD ACTIVE SHOOTER

Malmstrom Air Force Base has entered a lockdown status as of 10:29 AM on February 15 in response to an active shooter alert on base. The safety of our personnel is of the utmost priority, and updates will continue to come from official channels. At this time, it is advised to shelter in place.

This statement, issued during the height of the incident, underscored the urgency while calling for calm and cooperation from the community.

The incident garnered immediate attention from state and federal leaders, with Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Senator Jon Tester, and Congressman Matt Rosendale affirming their close monitoring of the situation and coordination with base leadership. Their combined responses underscored a unified dedication to the safety of military personnel and the broader Montana community.

Authorities confirm safety and ongoing investigation

As the dust settled, Air Force officials reassured the public that there was no further danger while also acknowledging that the investigation into the cause of the alarm was ongoing. Their commitment to transparency and safety in the wake of such events remains a cornerstone of their operations.

The Great Falls Police Department released an alert on their Facebook page stating:

INCIDENT IN PROGRESS! Community members may see a large police presence on the far east end of town. We are responding, with Cascade County Sheriff/Coroner's Office, to reports of an incident that may be occurring on Malmstrom Air Force Base...WE DO NOT HAVE MORE INFORMATION THAN THIS RIGHT NOW, we will update this post as quickly as information is available. DO NOT CALL 911 UNLESS YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY TO REPORT!

This plea for cooperation from the Great Falls Police Department effectively communicated the seriousness of the situation while managing public concern.

Throughout this harrowing experience, the resolve of first responders, military personnel, and community members was palpable. Their swift actions and clear communication helped to prevent panic and ensure the safety of all involved.

Conclusion

The incident at Malmstrom Air Base was a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of security threats and the importance of swift, coordinated responses. From the initial alert and lockdown to the investigation's ongoing efforts, the emphasis on safety, clear communication, and community cooperation stood out. As the situation was resolved without harm, the event will likely serve as a learning experience and a testament to the readiness and resilience of military and local law enforcement agencies.

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