Suspicious activity has local military base on heightened alert

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It's an unusual occurrence that has the Delaware Air National Guard on alert. (WPVI)

The security level was raised at the Delaware Air National Guard today after several odd incidents at the front gate.

According to officials, vehicles pulled up to the front gate at the airbase. The drivers were asking for directions, and that seemed odd to airmen stationed there.

As a result, the Delaware National Guard has raising its security level to what's called ThreatCon Bravo.

This afternoon, Guardsmen with gun drawn patrolled the front entrance to the airbase on foot. The extra security was put in place last night after possible suspicious activity on Monday and Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Len Gratteri explains, "The suspicious activity, or what we deemed might be suspicious, was a series of vehicles approaching our gate and asking for directions or approaching the gate and then turning around before they came into contact with our security forces personnel."

Lt. Col. Gratteri says five vehicles were involved. But he stresses there was no specific threat and it's not uncommon for drivers to pull up and ask for directions or get lost.

He says the frequency of people asking for directions was unusual.

"My understanding was that it was not the same vehicle, the same people coming through the gate."

The air base is used frequently by Vice President Joe Biden when he returns home to Delaware, and the Air Force One, which is the president's plane, practices landings at the base.

The Lt. Col. wouldn't get into specifics of the increased security, but he says checks at the gate will be more scrutinized, and Delaware State Police are helping with extra patrols around all bases in the state.

"We are going to find out if it was a coincidence or if it was indeed suspicious activity."

Investigators say they are going through surveillance video of the entrance to that base to find out license plate numbers to the vehicles involved to track down those drivers.

In addition to the activity at the Delaware Air National Guard, a suspicious package was found at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Wednesday afternoon.

The scare prompted the temporary evacuation of the facility as a precaution.

The all-clear was given around 5:00 p.m., but authorities are still trying to determine what was in the package.
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del. newsmilitaryair national guardWilmington
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