April 15th, 2010
07:30 PM ET

Pentagon implementing first of Fort Hood recommendations

The Pentagon is implementing a third of the recommendations made by a panel highly critical of the Department of Defense's safeguards to prevent events like the Fort Hood shooting last fall.

The independent panel, created by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the days after the deadly shooting, cited 79 recommendations in their report released in January.

Twenty-six of those recommendations have been or are being implemented immediately, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

Among the actions being taken, the Pentagon will now play a larger role in the U.S. government's Joint Terrorism Task Forces, including identifying goals and objectives for the Department of Defense and identifying a senior official to lead the efforts.

The independent panel had said the Department of Defense had inadequate commitment to the JTTF.

Installation commanders will now incorporate an "Active Shooter" scenario, lessons learned from Fort Hood and other workplace violence case studies into their base emergency training programs.

Prior to the review the panel found no standard for a response to an incident such as an "active shooter loose on a base as well as no similar standards on joint training between military and civilian police on military bases, all of which can cause confusion among response teams and instructions to base personnel during an emergency incident.

The Department of Defense will use an FBI-maintained system, called eGuardian, to report suspicious activity to the FBI-maintained system.

The review panel found the DoD did not have direct access to such a system for military and civilian base police to report suspicious behavior on military installations.

The panel, led by former Army Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations Vern Clark, recommend the Army and the entire military focus more on looking internally for potential threats among the troops.

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused of opening fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood on November 5, killing 13 and wounding 30 others. He was shot by a civilian law enforcement officer and is paralyzed from the waste down. He is currently being held at Bell County Jail in Benton, Texas, awaiting trial.

The West-Clark panel found that Hasan was promoted despite supervisors' concerns about his extremist views on Islam and odd behavior. It also suggested holding officers accountable for not adequately reporting issues with Hasan and allowing him to move up the ranks despite poor performance reviews.

The report also found supervisors "don't want to rock the boat" and prevent junior officers from getting promoted, Whitman said.

Some 53 recommendations by the panel must still be worked out by the Pentagon and approved by Secretary Gates, he added.

Whitman says those corrective actions will be implemented in June.

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Filed under: Fort Hood
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Sue Davis

    What would have happened if the "supervisors" and officers had tried to have Hassan removed from the service? They would have been accused of being racist or profiling. They would probably have lost their jobs. Our Country is being too Politically correct for our own good.

    April 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cocopuf

    You are right. We must be more vigilant and identify the early signs leading to these kinds of behaviors.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Charles

    Why is this guy still drawing air? Can we have a trial, if you deem that necessary and let file that piece of trash into the junkpile.
    This dragging there feet, makes it look like they may not try him till afte the Gitmos are released.
    Make this a piroity Obama. We want justice.

    April 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zulu

      I agree, the guy's a traitor, it should be a fairly open and shut case. He turned his back on his nation, I say that if they don't execute him, put him in solitary confinement for life.

      June 22, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. majajh

    We need to be armed on post, not just the security personnel.

    September 30, 2010 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |