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Armed man at MacDill was AWOL from military, official says

TAMPA — The man and woman arrived at MacDill Air Force Base as it cleared out for the day. They slowed the sport utility vehicle and showed identification.

In the Honda were six guns, ammunition and military-style clothing. The man, active duty military, reportedly was absent without leave.

But the military security guard didn't know that.

Only the IDs raised a flag. They appeared to be fake, base officials said Tuesday.

Authorities identified the pair who tried to enter the base's Bayshore Boulevard gate about 5 p.m. Monday as Spc. Christopher Paul Kilburn, and Micah Goodier of Palm Beach County.

Kilburn had been stationed with Alpha Company, 1-16th 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. He was charged with desertion and will be turned over to the Army.

The man would be under military jurisdiction, said MacDill spokesman Mark Graff.

But Goodier, a civilian, could wind up in federal court if prosecuted, according to Col. Dave Cohen, 6th Air Mobility Wing vice commander.

The pair's motive for trying to get into the base with the guns is unclear, he said, but was not believed to be an act of terrorism.

Base officials will work with Kilburn's chain of command to determine any possible charges against him, Cohen said.

Tuesday morning, the entrance gates at MacDill were open as usual and traffic was flowing.

"At no point was the security of MacDill Air Force Base breached," Cohen said. "The system worked exactly as it was supposed to."

The South Tampa base houses the headquarters of Central Command, which runs the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and Special Operations Command.

On May 19, an off-duty FBI agent shot and killed an Army veteran after a confrontation and chase at the base. The veteran had been visiting the base.

The FBI is reviewing that incident, and as of Tuesday that review had not been completed, said Tampa-based FBI spokesman David Couvertier.

The Associated Press and Times staff writer Katie Sanders contributed to this report.

Armed man at MacDill was AWOL from military, official says 06/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 12:09am]
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