Originally created 03/15/97

Fort Benning confines soldiers



FORT BENNING, Ga. - Fort Benning officials have confined about 600 soldiers to the post under a pair of lock-down orders after discovering two Beretta 9mm pistols and a pair of night-vision goggles missing.

The public information office said Wednesday night that the "lock-down" meant the soldiers weren't free to go back to their homes each day until the investigation into Tuesday's discovery of the missing items is completed.

"It's a normal procedure when weapons or other sensitive items are found missing," post spokeswoman Monica Manganaro said.

While on lock-down, soldiers with the engineer battalion are not allowed to leave the training area, and communication with their spouses is limited. Family members may send letters and photographs, but the soldiers will not be allowed to receive items such as magazines, clothing and "care packages."

The incidents involved two different units, both components of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division.

"These two incidents are totally unrelated. It's just a coincidence that this happened on the same day," said Lt. Col. Jeff Weart, 3rd Brigade executive officer.