AWOL soldier held: Guns, fake ID

2010-06-15 22:12

Miami - A heavily-armed AWOL soldier and a female companion were held after trying to enter a key US base in Florida with fake documents, a military spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The pair were stopped around 21:00 GMT trying to enter MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, the site of the headquarters of US Central Command, which oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the base public affairs officer said in a statement.

The suspects "presented fraudulent identification and were questioned" by security guards at the base gate, read the statement.

When the guards searched their vehicle "a dog alerted on a scent that led to the discovery of ammunition and weapons. Six weapons and ammunition were found in the vehicle".

The statement identified the suspects as "a male, Caucasian military member in Absent Without Leave status, and a female, Caucasian civilian. Both are US citizens".

The two "did not actively resist" during the incident and were held for questioning.

A senior base commander praised the guards, and said there was no security breach at the base.

No motive was given for the suspect's actions, but the military said an investigation is ongoing.

A MacDill spokesperson earlier said the alleged intruders were driving a sport utility vehicle, and that fire department and explosive disposal units were dispatched to the scene but found no explosives.

The installation is also home to US Special Operations Command.