UPDATE: The Marine Gate and Trigger Gate at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor were reopened Thursday evening, but the Trident Gate remains closed, Naval Base Kitsap reported at 5:52 p.m.
Personnel within a 1,000-foot perimeter will continue to “shelter in place.” Others must remain clear of the area while security personnel continue to respond.
All other Naval Base Kitsap installations will resume normal operations. Parents who have children at the NBK-Bangor Child Development Center will be able to access the base for pick up.
Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment 11, Washington State Patrol, Kitsap County Sheriff, the FBI, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service continue to provide assistance. The suspect is in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office.
Information and updates will be posted on the Naval Base Kitsap Facebook page, as well as the base information hotline at (360) 315-4636 and the base radio station, AM 1610.
The situation is under control and remains under investigation, Naval Base Kitsap reported.
* * *
Kitsap Daily News’ earlier story:
BANGOR — The driver of a vehicle who told Navy personnel he had an improvised explosive device is now in the custody of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Naval Base Kitsap reported on its Facebook page.
Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor’s Trident gate is still closed and personnel are maintaining a security perimeter in the area. The Trigger Avenue gate has been reopened for all incoming and outgoing traffic. All other Naval Base Kitsap gates have been reopened, and operations have otherwise returned to normal.
Providing continuing assistance are the FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Washington State Patrol, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, and Naval Ordnance Explosive Disposal Detachment 11.
The driver of a black SUV entered the Trident vehicle inspection gate at 9 a.m. on Feb. 22. Lt. Robert Brazas of the Washington State Patrol said the individual was “trying to gain unauthorized access” to the base; the vehicle was stopped and the individual reportedly said he had an improvised explosive device with him and in his vehicle.
Capt. Alan Schrader, commanding officer of Naval Base Kitsap, said the individual and his vehicle did not make it past the security checkpoint.
“Security and personnel safety procedures were immediately taken and the driver was apprehended,” Schrader said in a news report carried on KOMO News. “Our actual security measures worked.”
State Route 308 was closed from State Route 3 to the base, Brazas said. Naval Base Kitsap’s Bremerton Naval Gate was also closed. Brazas said a package inside the vehicle was estimated to have a potentially high blast radius.
Schrader said a 3,200-foot radius “stand-off area” had been established. Kitsap County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson advised residents living within that area to “shelter in place” or evacuate until further notice. Wilson also advised residents to “remain clear” and “stay away from windows.”
According to Wilson, the security area boundaries are:
- West boundary — the fence line of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor that runs parallel to Clear Creek Road NW.
- East boundary — Highway 3 NW.
- North boundary — Closser Drive NW.
- South boundary — NW Skiff Lane.
‘I moved away from the windows’
Motorists were being stopped at the security area boundaries and asked by officers to turn around. At Clear Creek Road and Closser Drive, Sheriff’s Deputy Schon Montague let about 20 motorists through so they could pick up their children at home — schools were closed because of snow. He estimated there are 150 homes in the security area.
Dave Rasmussen of the county Department of Emergency Management advised residents, “If you reside in this area and have a personal emergency that is not life-threatening, please call 360-307-5983.”
KOMO’s Air 4 and a KING 5 helicopter hovered above the site in the morning, streaming live coverage of a remotely operated bomb robot approaching the suspect’s vehicle.
Some residents within the area said they weren’t too concerned, but were still being cautious.
“We weren’t sure it was at Bangor, then an officer came by to tell us to seek shelter and stay away from the windows,” William Hayek said. “Being a half mile away, I wasn’t really concerned. [But] I moved away from the windows.”
David Wendell said he wasn’t worried. “I wouldn’t call it normal, but I live across the street from a Navy base. I chose to live here.”
Occurred during security training
The incident occurred as Naval Base Kitsap Security Forces began a training exercise at the Trident Gate and Trident Training Facility vicinity. Training was scheduled from 9-11 a.m.
Residents were advised that they could expect to “hear loud noises and activity during these times, including the use of blank ammunition and simulated explosive devices, and possible traffic and pedestrian congestion with the exercises.”
Emergency vehicles were slated to be in the area during the training, and drivers accessing NBK-Bangor could expect potential gate delays, roadblocks and traffic diversions.