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US DOD suspends operational training for all Saudi students after Pensacola shooting

07:25  11 december  2019
07:25  11 december  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

NAS Pensacola shooting: Why the Naval air base has international flight students

  NAS Pensacola shooting: Why the Naval air base has international flight students Training international students at the Naval Air Station Pensacola is a core part of the base's mission.The base employs 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel. This includes major tenant commands: Naval Aviation Schools Command, Naval Air Technical Training Center, Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 and 23, the Blue Angels and the headquarters for Naval Education Training Command, a command which combines direction and control of all Navy education and training.

MIAMI — The Pentagon has suspended operational training for all Saudi military students in the United States, indefinitely halting flight instruction, firing range training and all other operations outside the classroom in the wake of a shooting last week at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida by a

The Pentagon is halting operational training for all Saudi military students studying in the United States while it investigates last week’s deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi airman, defense officials said. The move is part of a “safety stand-down” ordered Tuesday by Deputy

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper has directed a strengthening of the vetting procedures for foreign military students studying in the United States and ordered a review of current vetting procedures in the wake of the Pensacola shooting that killed three Navy sailors and wounded eight others.

Saudi defense official meets with Saudi students at NAS Pensacola following deadly shooting

  Saudi defense official meets with Saudi students at NAS Pensacola following deadly shooting A Saudi official visited NAS Pensacola to meet with students restricted their by their Saudi commanding officer following Friday's deadly shooting.The FBI's Jacksonville Division, which is handling the investigation of the attack, tweeted Tuesday morning that Saudi Arabia Defense Attaché Major General Fawaz Al Fawaz and his embassy staff met with the Saudi students. They've been detained on the base by their Saudi commanding officer since the shooting.

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday suspended nearly 300 Saudi students from flight training in response to the deadly shooting by a Saudi student last Friday in Pensacola , Fla., a Megan Isaac, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Fox News that training was suspended over the weekend for all personnel.

Update: The Saudi student who shot and killed three people at a US naval base in Florida hosted a dinner party the night before the attack where he One of the three students at the dinner recorded the shooting outside the building at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday. According to the report

Earlier on Tuesday, the Navy confirmed the suspension of flight trainingfor more than 300 Saudi military flight students, but it was part of a larger safety stand-down and operational pause that the Pentagon announced later in the day and that limits all 852 Saudi military students in the U.S. to receive only classroom instruction.

In a memorandum to Pentagon leadership on Tuesday, Esper directed that immediate steps to strengthen the current vetting process for international military students who train on U.S. bases and ordered a formal review of the process to be completed in 10 days. The review will look at current policies and procedures for screening foreign students and granting access to bases.

"I direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) to take immediate steps to strengthen personnel vetting for International Military Students (IMS), and to complete a review within 10 days of policies and procedures for screening foreign students and granting access to our bases," Esper said in the memo.

EXCLUSIVE-Over 300 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting

  EXCLUSIVE-Over 300 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting Over 300 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting

The Navy has suspended flight training for more than 300 Saudi military flight students in the wake of last week's shooting rampage by a Saudi student that killed three and wounded eight others. No end date has been assigned to what the Navy is describing as a "safety stand-down and operational

The Pentagon on Tuesday suspended nonclassroom training for all Saudi Arabian students in U.S. military programs in response to the deadly shooting by a Saudi national at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida last week. The decision will affect nearly 900 Saudis studying at military

"These efforts will seek to more closely align IMS vetting procedures with those we apply to U.S. personnel," he added. "With respect to specific training programs and personnel under their cognizance, the Secretaries of the Military Departments may take additional security measures as they see fit."

In the meantime, the 852 Saudi military students at U.S. military installations will not receive any operational training and will be limited to classroom instruction as part of a security and safety stand-down by the U.S. military services.

Esper said that the Pentagon is working closely with the Saudi government in its response to Friday’s deadly shooting incident that was carried out by a young Saudi air force officer.

"The secretary has placed a very high priority on this," a senior defense official said of the review.

a small boat in a body of water with a city in the background: The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy arrives for exercises at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., March 17, 2004. © U.S. Navy via Reuters, FILE The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy arrives for exercises at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., March 17, 2004. Esper’s memo stressed the importance of the long-standing military education and training with Saudi Arabia, adding that the Defense Department has trained 28,000 Saudi students over the life of the bilateral security cooperation relationship "without serious incident."

Navy grounds Saudi pilot trainees after deadly shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station

  Navy grounds Saudi pilot trainees after deadly shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station The Navy has grounded more than 300 Saudi nationals training to be pilots after the shooting last week at Pensacola Naval Air Station.Training for all personnel at the Florida base was suspended over the weekend, said Navy Cdr. Clay Doss, a spokesman. Limited training resumed Monday, including for some international students. However, the Saudi students remain grounded, Doss said. Some classroom training for them is expected to resume this week.

Flights for 300 aviation students are paused after the shooting at Pensacola left three sailors dead. He said the operational pause affects 852 Saudi students enrolled in all military programmes at "various locations" across the US, though classroom training continues for all .

Some 175 Saudi Arabian military aviation students have been grounded in a “safety stand-down,” just days after Saudi Air Force lieutenant Mohammed Alshamrani, one of several hundred foreign aviation trainees at the Pensacola base, was killed in a shootout with Escambia County Sheriff’s

Earlier the Navy had confirmed that 303 flight students based at Naval Air Station Pensacola and two other Navy bases in Florida would not be flying for an undetermined period of time.

"A safety stand-down and operational pause commenced Monday for Saudi Arabian aviation students at NAS Pensacola and NAS Whiting Field and NAS Mayport, Florida," said Lt. Commander Megan Isaac, a Navy spokesperson. "Classroom training is expected to resume this week for those students."

(MORE: Saudi pilot used gun loophole to buy murder weapon used in shooting at Pensacola air base, FBI says)

The operational pause affects 175 Saudi students based at Pensacola and Whiting Field naval air stations, in the Pensacola area, and 128 Saudi students at Naval Station Mayport, near Jacksonville, Florida.

There are a total of 272 international military students at NAS Pensacola from a variety of countries. According to the Defense Department there are currently 5,181 foreign students from 153 countries in the United States for DOD-led security cooperation related training across all of the military services.

The operational pause in flight training will not apply to students from countries other than Saudi Arabia.

Last Friday, Saudi Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, a flight student at NAS Pensacola, used a handgun to shoot at fellow students in a classroom building at the base.

US says no new foreign military students until better checks

  US says no new foreign military students until better checks WASHINGTON (AP) — No new international military students will come to the United States for training until new screening procedures are in place, the Pentagon said Thursday in the wake of the deadly shooting last week by a Saudi Arabian aviation trainee at a Florida Navy base. The Defense Department's chief spokesman said there is no explicit ban on new students, but none will enter the country the department expands its role in the screening process and begins the additional reviews. Currently the bulk of the screening is done by the departments of State and Homeland Security, as well as the host nation.

Saudi Arabian military students in the United States will continue classroom instruction but operational training is halted pending a security review, senior Defense Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, opened fire in a classroom at Pensacola Naval Air Station in

The Pentagon announced Tuesday it was temporarily suspending operational training for Saudi The move applies to all Saudi military students currently undergoing training in the United States. The shooting struck a nerve in the United States with its echoes of the September 11, 2001 attacks

a person posing for the camera: Mohammed Alshamrani in a photo released by the FBI. © FBI Mohammed Alshamrani in a photo released by the FBI.

Three U.S. Navy sailors were killed in the shooting and eight other individuals were wounded by the gunfire. Alshamrani was killed in a firefight with local law enforcement officers who had responded to the scene.

(MORE: Trump keeps friendly tone with Saudis even as attack by Saudi national investigated as terror)

Killed in the shooting were Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Florida; Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Georgia; and Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, from Enterprise, Alabama.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the shooting and among other things continues to investigate whether Alshamrani acted alone or was part of a larger terror plot.

A senior defense official told reporters on Tuesday that they have not seen evidence to suggest a larger issue with Saudi students specifically.

ABC News' Elizabeth McLaughlin contributed to this report.

Pentagon finds Saudi students not 'immediate threat' after Pensacola shooting .
A Pentagon screening of Saudi military students training at U.S. bases found "no information indicating an immediate threat" in the wake of the Pensacola shooting.However, a senior defense official, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the ongoing Pensacola investigation, cautioned that this was a Pentagon screening tool not an investigative tool, and so it's not possible to draw wider conclusions about what Saudi students may have known about the Dec. 6 attack. The FBI's Jacksonville office declined to comment on what their investigation has learned about the suspected shooter's Saudi classmates but said the review is ongoing.

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