What could have been a grave security breach at Camp Dodge apparently did no harm. Earlier this week, a storage facility was left unlocked overnight, with hundreds of weapons inside. First Sergeant Christine Short is in charge of security at the base in Johnston, and she confirms an armory was found unlocked when a guard was making overnight rounds.
Short says it was after one A.M. Tuesday morning, when he discovered that the vault, which holds weapons, was not secured. Following standard practices, they notified "the people that need to be notified," secured the area, and did a count and serial-number inventory to determine that nothing was missing. "Basically, human mistake," she says, "and it was left open." This just one of several such structures where weapons are kept, at the guard’s state headquarters just north of Des Moines, though Short wouldn’t confirm reports that this vault contained about 700 weapons.
"This is just one of the units that is stationed here at Camp Dodge," Short says. Each has weapons authorized for their use, and she says this vault contained "not any more than an normal unit would have." She says Camp Dodge is the main headquarters of the National Guard in Iowa.
The First Sergeant says Camp Dodge is more than 4,000 acres, with buildings that are hard to count since new ones are under construction all the time. As far as permanent fulltime staff at the base, she says it’s about 800 people. Law enforcement agencies in the area were notified and all vehicles leaving the base were checked to make sure no contraband weapons were being taken off the base. The security workers confirmed that no weapons or property of the guard are missing.