Thursday, April 15, 1999

‘It’s a precautionary
measure...based on
world events.’



Hickam carnival,
fair won’t be open
to public

World events prompt
officials to depart from
past practice

By Gregg K. Kakesako


Increased tensions in the world have forced Air Force officials to close Hickam Air Force Base to the public this weekend, barring them from the base's annual carnival and craft fair.

"There's no reason for the public to be alarmed," said Col. Ann Testa, 15th Air Base Commander, "and there are no indications of a direct threat in this area. It's a precautionary measure we've chosen to take based on world events."

The carnival will run from tomorrow to Sunday, while the craft fair will be held May 1. Both are normally open to the public.

However "increased tensions around the world and the need to avoid possible risk to base operations" brought about the change, Testa said.

The Hickam carnival and craft fair will still be open to authorized military ID cardholders and their sponsored guests, Air Force officials said.

Capt. Rene Stockwell, Hickam spokeswoman, said there has been no change to the security measures that started last summer with the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Some mainland bases, however, are stepping up security measures from Alpha to Bravo following the release of a Serb-language letter faxed to several Orthodox churches in the United States urging terrorist strikes on U.S. military installations.

However, spokesmen at Hickam, Marine Base Hawaii at Kaneohe, Pearl Harbor and Schofield Barracks report no increase in the current threat level.

An Air Force spokesman at a New Mexico base said the one-step increase in threat awareness probably would not be noticeable to civilians. It involves more intensive identity checks and stricter requirements for nonmilitary people entering the base.

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