CHAOS at NATO air base after 'MISSILE INBOUND' warning accidentally sent to US airmen


AIRMEN at a US air base in Germany believed they were under attack after a message was sent warning them of an incoming missile attack.  

The bright-red test message was only meant to be sent to one person but was instead sent to all wing personnel at Nato’s Spangdahlem Air Base, 100 miles west of Frankfurt.

The message was labelled “high severity" and read: “MISSILE INBOUND. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY”.

Major Bryon McGarry told Stars and Stripes: “One of the command post controllers was building a template for this specific thing that was posted... And he inadvertently sent it to everybody.”

The message was sent through the base’s AtHoc emergency alert system and appeared on users desktop in a window which usually displays weather warnings.

He added: “We were, like everyone else, very curious about it.”

Eight minutes later, a blue message was sent out to warn the servicemen the missile warning was a test.

The message read: “A missile warning message was sent out inadvertently. PLEASE DISREGARD AND RESUME NORMAL OPERATIONS.”

No sirens or other alarms went off during the initial confusion.

McGarry added that the officer who sent out the alarm had been talked to and measures were being put in place to make sure the accident does not happen again.

A picture of the warning was posted onto a Facebook page run by former airman Steven Mayne.

Referring to the public attention, McGarry said: "It probably could have been handled with relatively mild embarrassment at a lower level, but here we are.”