NAS Fallon Changes Security After bin Laden Death

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The Naval Air Station at Fallon has received orders from "higher headquarters," within the military command structure to change its security measures as a result of the death of Osama Bin Laden according to NAS Fallon Public Affairs Officer Zip Upham.

"Directed by higher headquarters," he said. "In this situation, it is in response from higher headquarters, the military command structure."

Here is why: "There is an increase risk with being a better-known military installation," he said, referring to the NAS Fallon program on which the movie "Top Gun" was based. He said the same goes for Nellis Air Force Base. "Likewise with the Thunderbirds based out of Nellis and concerns like that."

He wouldn't specify the changes, though he said they are recent, "It is against our policy to discuss the current security measures. Our current security posture is adequate to meet the current situation and not causing delays."

Fallon only has 3,000 to 4,000 personnel at the base and only one entrance. He said many of the security measures are not visible.

Bases are heavily fortified, but that doesn't preclude them from being an attractive target for someone trying to make a statement.

"This is the difficulty with terrorism," he said. "Terrorists usually attack the average citizen, but the short answer is that a military installation is a symbolic target. Any attack on a military installation would not impact our ability to defend the United States."

As expected, Upham couldn't specify any of the security measures in place, but he also could not specify if the station was, or had ever been the target of an attack: "not only do I not have details on that but I could not answer it if I did."

However, they are participating in a joint mult-agency exercise this Friday to prepare for any unexpected disasters.