The Buzz

June 6, 2013

Sen. Roy Blunt is briefly detained at a military base

An Air Force official said the Missouri Republican and an unidentified senator were stopped until they could be identified by base personnel. The senators were traveling through Joint Base Andrews to the New Jersey funeral of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Blunt’s spokeswoman blamed the incident on miscommunication.

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Sen. Roy Blunt was briefly detained Wednesday morning at a security gate at Joint Base Andrews after a dispute with Air Force security personnel.

In a statement, an Air Force official said the Missouri Republican and an unidentified senator were stopped until they could be identified by base personnel. The senators were traveling through Andrews to the New Jersey funeral of Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

An Air Force statement did not provide further details of the discussion at the guard station.

“Our defenders followed standard procedures,” said the statement from Col. William M. Knight, commander of the base’s host wing. “While we regret that the parties were delayed, the security of the installation is of utmost importance.”

Blunt’s spokeswoman Amber Marchand confirmed the unusual incident, which she blamed on miscommunication.

“The senator and some of his colleagues were briefly stopped, and the issue was quickly resolved,” said her statement issued Thursday. “The secretary of the Air Force called Sen. Blunt yesterday to apologize for the miscommunication, which Sen. Blunt explained was unnecessary, as everyone was just trying to do their job.”

The public affairs office of the Air Force secretary, Michael Donley, did not immediately confirm the call to Blunt.

Joint Base Andrews is in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

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