SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (HawaiiNewsNow) - A lockdown has been lifted for more than 450 Schofield Barracks soldiers who spent the long holiday weekend on base, an Army spokesman said.
Soldiers with the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment were released from a "100 percent recall" that lasted from last Wednesday until 10 p.m. Monday, according to 25th Infantry Division spokesman Lt. Col. Will Griffin. Griffin said authorities were searching for a "sensitive" piece of equipment during that time.
Although Army officials could not confirm specifics of the missing piece, family members of affected soldiers told Hawaii News Now they believe it could involve a night vision device and rifle.
Jessica Eby, the pregnant wife of an Army soldier stationed at Schofield, said in an email that soldiers who reside in the barracks were allowed to sleep in their rooms, but married soldiers were kept in a separate area – with an "unhygienic" shower – where they were forced to sleep on the floor. Multiple searches of barracks rooms and personal vehicles were also conducted.
"At this point, the lockdown has gone beyond a regular investigation and can be termed more accurately as a mass punishment, something that is not allowed in what people are calling the 'new Army,' but would have been routine a few years ago," Eby said.
Griffin said the lockdown was an unfortunate situation that occurred over the Valentine's Day weekend, and it was never meant to be a form of punishment, but the situation called for standard protocol for accountability.
Family members were kept informed and updated throughout the lockdown, Griffin said, with individual communication and a town hall meeting.
Although the missing item has not been recovered, military police officers have opened an investigation.
A similar situation took place last February when soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 2nd Brigade at Schofield Barracks were on lockdown due to a missing sensitive item at the end of a training exercise.