Updated: December 5, 2019 10:18:37 am
The Indian Air Force (IAF) Thursday said Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria was safe, following reports of a shooting incident at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, where he is participating in a conclave of air chiefs. A US Navy sailor killed two people before taking his own life at the military base in the early hours of the morning.
The two deceased were reportedly civilians working for the US Department of Defense. The motive of the attack has not been ascertained.
“The IAF Chief and his team are safe,” said a spokesperson of the IAF.
Another official said while the IAF Chief is staying at the US air force base in Pearl Harbor, the incident of shooting took place in the naval base. The official added that the two places are not close to each other.
The IAF Chief and his team are in Hawaii to participate in the Pacific Air Chiefs’ Symposium 2019 (PACS 2019). The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘A Collaborative Approach to Regional Security’.
Prior to the start of #PACS19, air chiefs met at @JointBasePHH to discuss a number of issues to enhance regional security, interoperability and ensure a Free & Open Indo-Pacific. @AusAirForce @IAF_MCC @JASDF_PAO @phil_air_force #friendspartnersallies pic.twitter.com/57zXvHumGO
— PACAF (@PACAF) December 4, 2019
The military base is a combined US Air Force and Navy installation located 13 kilometres from Honolulu. The base, which was formed by the merger of Pearl Harbor Naval Station and Hickam Air Force Base, was placed on lockdown for about two hours following the incident at around 2.30 pm (6.00 am IST). It has not been secured and opened.
Condemning the attack, Hawaiin Governor David Ige said security forces are investigating the incident. “I join in solidarity with the people of Hawaii as we express our heartbreak over this tragedy and concern for those affected by the shooting. Details are still emerging as security forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam investigate,” he tweeted.
“Base security and Navy investigative services are currently investigating. The names of the victims will not be released until the next of kin have been notified,” a statement released by the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam said.
The incident comes three days before the 78th anniversary of the December 7, 1941 attack on the naval base that led the United States to enter World War Two by declaring war on Japan.
(With inputs from PTI, Associated Press)
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