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Lockdown lifted at Schofield Barracks

  • COURTESY PHOTO
    Courtesy U.S. Army About 2,000 Schofield Barracks soldiers stood in formation Friday during a ceremony to mark the 3rd Brigade Combat Team's return from Afghanistan.
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A six-day base lockdown for more than 450 Schofield Barracks soldiers was lifted Monday night at 10:15 p.m. — without the recovery of a missing "sensitive" item that prompted the action, according to the wife of one of the soldiers.

Jessica Swonger said her husband and other soldiers with the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment were largely confined to base and unit areas over the long Valentine’s Day weekend.

The lockdown angered some soldiers’ families, who said they can plan for deployments and training, but not an impromptu nearly week-long absence of a spouse.

"It was pretty much a pointless lockdown and it wasted the soldiers’ four-day weekend," said Chris Hayes, whose wife is part of the unit. "All it did was probably ruin morale for soldiers and take away a four-day weekend from their families that they are not going to get back."

What the Army called a "100 percent recall" of the unit forced some married soldiers who live off base to sleep on the floor in a maintenance bay as the unit’s command sought the return of the equipment, Swonger said.

Hayes said his understanding is that the squadron was looking for a $20,000 experimental night-vision sight that can take pictures and video.

The Army confirmed that a "sensitive" item was missing, but declined to say it was a night-vision device.

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