Retired serviceman’s conversation about weapons sparked alert at Keesler

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BILOXI – A retired Air Force servicemember caused an alarm on Keesler Air Force Base this morning when he was overheard talking about weapons.

Technical Sergeant Ryan Crane said the base was placed on alert after someone told base security about statements Bruce Sledge had made.

“The retired servicemember was on base, and another individual overheard some conversation about weapons, and that caused alarm to them,” Crane said. “Because of the nature of the discussion and where the individual was, that alerted security forces to implement our enhanced security procedures.”

All personnel on the base were required to present credentials in order to access any building while the alert was in place.

“Any time that we have reports like this, out of an abundance of caution, we just want to make sure that the safety of the people on base is taken care of,” Crane said. “If he was armed or if there was an incident that could happen, we could contain that here and protect the safety of the community members around the base as well.”

A Tweet issued just after 11:30 a.m. confirmed that the base was back to normal operating procedure.

Sledge is no longer on base, and the matter has been turned over to local authorities, Crane said.