Pentagon chief gives nod to arm more troops in U.S. after shooting

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 30, 2015 4:32 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter signaled on Thursday that he would allow more troops to be armed at facilities inside the United States after the July 16 shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and asked top brass to craft plans to increase security.

Carter in a two-page memorandum instructed military leaders to develop plans to increase security within existing Defense Department policy guidelines, which, he noted, included "the option of additional armed personnel."

He also asked them to identify gaps in warning notification systems.

"The tragic shooting on July 16 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, illustrates the continuing threat to (Department of Defense) personnel in the U.S. homeland posed by homegrown violent extremists," he wrote, asking for a consolidated set of plans to review by Aug. 21.

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Four U.S. Marines and a sailor were killed two weeks ago in Chattanooga when a gunman opened fire on military installations there.. The attack prompted calls, including from within Congress, for more troops to be armed inside the United States.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)