Scott Introduces Secure U.S. Bases Act Follow NAS Pensacola Attack

March 6, 2020

Thursday, Senator Rick Scott and Senator Joni Ernst introduced the Secure U.S. Bases Act to “reform and improve foreign military student training programs” following the terrorist attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola on December 6th, 2019.

After the attack, Scott called for a hard reset of the program and for all Saudi nationals training in the U.S. to be sent home until the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) completed a thorough review of the program.

The Secure U.S. Bases Act requires a thorough vetting process before a foreign student enters the U.S.; creates a special, limited visa for foreign students; and establishes a review process so that DOD is not operating training programs in the U.S. that would be better operated abroad.

“The safety and security of American men and women in uniform is always a priority for me, and it should be a priority of our entire government,” Scott said. “The tragic terrorist attack in Pensacola last year revealed an unnecessary risk. This terrorist should never have been allowed in our country, let alone on an American military base with easy access to American military men and women. The Secure U.S. Bases Act will make sure foreign military students training at U.S. bases are thoroughly vetted and monitored, and that our troops are protected and never have to experience a tragedy like this again.”

The Secure U.S. Bases Act:

  • Creates a new visa category for foreign military students training on U.S. bases with restrictions on their travel and actions while in the country. Individuals who receive the new visa will be prohibited from possessing, acquiring, or using firearms, except for uses specifically required by their training program and be under the continual oversight of their commander regarding his or her whereabouts and activities.
  • Alters the application process, vetting and monitoring requirements for foreign military students. The application to train on U.S. bases will require an official endorsement letter from the Chief of Intelligence of their country, personal information including a physical address, fingerprints, and other data, an in-person interview and an extensive background check that will include a review of social media activity. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence will be responsible for the final decision on whether to admit an applicant into the program.
  • Differentiates military training programs based on risk. The bill requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a method for classifying relative risks, by country, and to consider the overall risk profile of each country when making determinations of applicants’ eligibility. The DOD must also to consider implementing appropriate training programs in other countries when appropriate.

Pictured above: Gov. Ron DeSantis meets with NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer Tim Kinsella two days after the deadly terrorist attack on the base. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

4 Responses to “Scott Introduces Secure U.S. Bases Act Follow NAS Pensacola Attack”

  1. rance on March 7th, 2020 6:00 am

    International relations aside, let them train in their own damn countries This act is not enough, and of little comfort to the families that lost loved ones…

  2. Keith on March 6th, 2020 7:59 pm

    I would like to know why I still cannot take my granddaughter to the Aviation Museum or go to my brothers grave on base. They have let the Saudi students start training again but US citizens are still a threat? The attack wasn’t done someone visiting the base anyway.

  3. Joel Muncie on March 6th, 2020 5:38 pm

    Why does this only apply to foreign military students training on U.S.Bases? That is only a small fraction if the foreigners that come into the U.S. I thought the current laws screened all foreigners on some level! Did we just abolish our laws that protect citizens!

  4. JTV on March 6th, 2020 8:45 am

    Good law, thank you Gov. Scott.





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