FORT HUACHUCA — Six Saudi soldiers on Fort Huachuca are among the nearly 900 Saudis on U.S. military installations across the country facing training restrictions on the heels of a deadly shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer on a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.
The Saudi soldiers on Fort Huachuca — the six are among soldiers from 24 countries, including the United States — are limited to classroom training, in accordance with a Department of Defense (DoD) directive, confirmed Fort Huachuca media relations officer Tanja Linton.
The DoD issued the order on Tuesday, days after a member of the Saudi Air Force opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Dec. 6, killing three people and wounding eight others.
“We are adhering to the DoD directive and continue to train the critical tasks associated with intelligence doctrine and concepts central to the training and education of lieutenants and captains,” Linton wrote in an email Friday.
Asked what kind of training the Saudi soldiers are involved with, Linton wrote: “Six officers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are currently engaged in training at Fort Huachuca. International military students attend the Military Intelligence Captains Career Course and Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leadership Course and learn leadership and intelligence doctrine and concepts.”
The Saudi soldiers on Fort Huachuca, like all Saudis on American military installations, are not allowed to participate in shooting range training, flight training, or any training outside of the classroom as long as the “safety stand-down” order from the DoD is in place.
Linton did not offer any prediction on how long the restrictions would remain in place.
“We will comply with the DoD directive until it is rescinded or it is superseded by new guidance,” she said.
The Fort Huachuca spokeswoman referred a question about whether she has seen similar restrictions imposed on visiting soldiers in the past to the DoD.
A call to the DoD’s media office after normal business hours Friday was not answered and the voicemail box did not receive messages.