RAF Mildenhall Intruder Held Under Mental Health Laws

British police secure the area outside RAF Mildenhall, England, an incident and a suspect was arrested after a disturbance at the base, Monday Dec. 18, 2017.  (Sam Russell/PA via AP)
British police secure the area outside RAF Mildenhall, England, an incident and a suspect was arrested after a disturbance at the base, Monday Dec. 18, 2017. (Sam Russell/PA via AP)

The driver of a vehicle that was fired upon Monday by U.S. security personnel at Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall is being held under Britain's Mental Health Act for criminal trespass, police said Tuesday.

The 44-year-old man, who has not been further identified, reportedly rammed a security gate and drove to a spot near the tarmac where a U.S. Air Force Special Operations CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft was parked.

The driver suffered minor cuts and bruises, and is in the custody of local authorities.

The base, about 90 miles northeast of London, is home to the U.S. Air Force's 100th Air Refueling Wing, which is responsible for refueling operations across Europe.

Other Air Force units at Mildenhall include the 501st Combat Support Wing, the 352nd Special Operations Wing and the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron.

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Mildenhall was temporarily put on lockdown after the incident, but flight operations quickly resumed.

"We've concluded our combined U.S.-U.K. [United Kingdom] response to this incident, and we are continuing to support local authorities in the ongoing investigation," a U.S. military spokesman said.

Superintendent Kim Warner of the Suffolk police told the BBC that the driver was arrested after a "short pursuit" that ended when the vehicle was stopped by U.S. security.

He said: "Shots were fired by U.S. security -- I don't know how many, but I do know that shots were fired."

Warner added that there was "no obvious motive at this stage" for the incident. He said there was no wider threat to the public or the base, and police were not looking for accomplices.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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