WASHINGTON, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Reviews on the Washington Navy Yard shooting last September have forced the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to take steps against insider threat.
The reviews released at Pentagon on Tuesday concluded that threats to DOD's personnel and facilities are increasingly coming from trusted insiders, and to defeat them the Pentagon must take steps to improve security and safety from within.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus addressed plans to implement security changes following the shooting by Aaron Alexis, a federal contractor with a checkered history and mental issues, who was able to get a security clearance to enter the Navy Yard and left 12 employees dead.
"The reviews identified troubling gaps in DOD's ability to detect, prevent and respond to instances where someone working for us -- a government employee, a member of our military or a contractor -- decides to inflict harm on this institution and its people," Hagel said.
To close these gaps, he added, DOD will take a series of actions including implementing a continuous evaluation program of personnel with access to DOD facilities and establishing an Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center.
Along with these actions, Hagel said, the department may reduce the number of personnel holding Secret security clearances by at least 10 percent, reduce DOD's reliance on background investigations, develop more effective ways to screen recruits and ensure the quality of mental health care within DOD.
According to Mabus, the Navy has already improved physical security and force protection based on rapid reviews and assessments of bases and policies after the attack.
Meanwhile, Navy units have completed self-assessments to ensure their own compliance, and departmental leadership has engaged with commanding officers worldwide to stress their role in protecting civilian and military personnel, he said.