At approximated 9:45AM on Thursday morning, military and Massachusetts State Police responded to a suspicious vehicle stopped near to Hanscom Air Force Base’s main gate near Concord, MA. A screening of the vehicle indicated the presence of potentially hazardous material on board, prompting the State Police bomb squad to evacuate the area.
The vehicle in question is reportedly a moving truck. Law enforcement has established a perimeter around the vehicle which at some point throughout the investigation was expanded dramatically. Soon thereafter, it was reported that the State Police called in the FBI and have established joint communications through a fusion center.
Fusion centers operate in largely populated areas to serve as a focal point for the gathering, assessment, and sharing of pertinent information regarding such threats. They are designed to streamline communications between “federal; state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT); and private sector partners.”
HAZMAT is reportedly on scene and preparing to address any potential threat. It is possible that the increase in the perimeter could have been precipitated by the identification of whatever the threatening substance may be – as it may not be a concern over an explosion, but rather the dispersal of the substance. Thus far, there has been no formal acknowledgement from law enforcement regarding the nature of the substances identified.
The exit from Route 2A onto Hanscom AFB has been closed down by law enforcement, and officials are calling on all airborne traffic to avoid the area. Hanscom AFB is closely located to a civilian air field.
Hanscom Air Force Base has returned to normal operations after the investigation of the suspicious vehicle.
“Security Forces detected some potentially explosive material, which caused the base to put response actions in place,” Hanscom officials said in a statement. “Those actions included a temporary closure of the base’s Vandenberg (Rte 2A) Gate and evacuation of several nearby base facilities.”
Mike Bavuso, CEO of the Bigfoot Moving Company that owns the truck in question, told the media that the suspicious vehicle was full of “household goods,” suggesting it was likely transporting the belongings of Air Force personnel transferring onto, or out of, the air base.
“Our vehicle and personnel have been cleared and we are thankful that the incident has been resolved,” said Bavuso. “We assure our customers that we take this matter very seriously. The safety of our crew, customers and their goods is of utmost importance to us. We thank all the authorities and military personnel for their thoroughness and their commitment to protecting our country every day.”
Some of the pallets removed from the moving truck have been taken by state police for further testing because of a “potentially concerning residue,” but no further information has been revealed regarding the nature of the substance that sparked the investigation. Bedford Police and Hanscom authorities have cleared the area and told the media there is “no danger to the community.”
SOFREP will provide updates as they are forthcoming.
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