POSTED: 3:41 p.m. HST, May 3, 2011
In timing that suggests a link with the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death, U.S. military installations in the Pacific raised their security level from Alpha on Sunday, the lowest level, to Bravo.
The so-called Force Protection Condition extends to all bases under the Pacific Command, said a spokeswoman, Navy Lt. Theresa Donnelly.
Donnelly said it was her understanding that the move was a "precautionary measure only," and not related to any specific threat. She could not confirm that the increased security was due to the bin Laden news.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Diann Olson said there was a 20- to 30-minute wait this morning to get on the Kaneohe Bay base. It usually takes between five and 15 minutes, she said.
"So there was a little bit of an extra wait," she said. "People should anticipate waiting a little to get to work (on base) at peak times."
Early yesterday, the U.S. Army Garrison announced the security level upgrade in a news release warning of possible traffic delays.
"Commuters should allow extra time, especially during the morning hours, in accessing Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Tripler Army Medical Center, Fort Shafter and other facilities," the statement said.
The other major Oahu installations include Camp Smith in Halawa Heights, Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam and Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.
Meanwhile, the State Department issued a worldwide travel advisory to U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad, warning of "enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan." The department advised people in areas with the potential for anti-American violence to stay close to their homes and hotels and "avoid mass gatherings."