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Sen. Nelson receives security briefing at MacDill | News

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Sen. Nelson receives security briefing at MacDill

Tampa, Florida - You can see some security at MacDill Air Force Base. At the main gate, motorists must stop and show ID and some vehicles are checked for bombs. But what about the seven miles of both fence line and coast line? Are there weaknesses there?

Documents filed in federal court outline how a 50-year-old homeless woman was able to repeatedly sneak onto base. The forays raised serious questions with Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida). On Wednesday in Washington he summed it up this way: "This is outrageous!"

So Nelson requested a security briefing at MacDill. On base Friday morning, Nelson got a chance to question base commander Col. Scott DeThomas and other staffers.

While base officials would not provide details to the media, they say since Suzanne Jensen's incursions last fall and winter, that security has been beefed up, including improvements along the perimeter.

"We've taken measures to prevent the physical part of it and we've heightened our awareness that trespassers are an issue," said DeThomas after meeting with Nelson.

And Nelson says he's confident that the highly important Central Command and Special Operations Command are well protected. "I am satisfied that their security, given the nature of the base, is at the level it needs to be," he said.

But the question remains, can anyone still just hop a MacDill fence? 

"The short answer," Nelson said. "They hope not."


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