By Idrees Ali
(Reuters) - The U.S. Army has boosted security at military recruiting stations since an attack at a center in July, the commander of Army recruitment said on Wednesday.
“In the absence of Chattanooga we probably would have done some of these things anyway… (but) it has certainly accelerated some of our force protection measures," Major General Jeffrey Snow told Reuters.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the annual Association of United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington.
Four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer were shot and killed in Chattanooga, Tennessee this summer. One site where the shootings occurred was a recruiting office in a strip mall.
It was the most recent in a string of attacks and raised questions about the security of centers, which in many cases are in shopping malls and have little or no security.
In a speech earlier in the day, Snow said ballistic benches, which can withstand gunfire, had been ordered, and could have mitigated an attack like the one in July.
He added that window screens had been put into recruiting stations so that recruiters could see outside but people could not see inside during the day time.
Snow said that after the Chattanooga attack and another attack on a recruiting center in 2009 in Little Rock, Arkansas, his main concern was “lone wolf” attacks.
It was not a question of “if this is going to happen again, it’s going to be a question of when,” Snow said.
According to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s website there are 9,500 recruiters working out of more than 1,400 recruiting stations in the United States and abroad.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by David Gregorio)