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The facility received an anonymous call at about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. The caller said there was a bomb at or near building 10 – the main hospital building. Naval Support Activity Bethesda, which includes Walter Reed, put the installation on lockdown and sent security to the scene.  
The facility received an anonymous call at about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. The caller said there was a bomb at or near building 10 – the main hospital building. Naval Support Activity Bethesda, which includes Walter Reed, put the installation on lockdown and sent security to the scene.   (U.S. Army)

Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., was under lockdown for nearly five hours Wednesday after someone called in a bomb threat, according to officials. 

Naval Support Activity Bethesda, of which Walter Reed is part, received a call at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday from someone who said there was a bomb at or near building 10 — the main hospital building. The base ordered all gates closed and told personnel across the installation to shelter in place.  

Capt. Scott Switzer, the commanding officer at the base, lifted the lockdown about 1:30 p.m. after every building had been cleared with bomb-sniffing dogs.   

It was unknown Wednesday afternoon who called in the threat, officials said. 

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Nikki Wentling has worked for Stars and Stripes since 2016. She reports from Congress, the White House, the Department of Veterans Affairs and throughout the country about issues affecting veterans, service members and their families. Wentling, a graduate of the University of Kansas, previously worked at the Lawrence Journal-World and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The National Coalition of Homeless Veterans awarded Stars and Stripes the Meritorious Service Award in 2020 for Wentling’s reporting on homeless veterans during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, she was named by the nonprofit HillVets as one of the 100 most influential people in regard to veterans policymaking.
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