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​The Air Force has implemented a series of new steps to improve base security following an order from Defense Secretary Ash Carter to improve the safety of military facilities following the July shooting at a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Air Force has increased the number of armed security forces on bases through multiple programs, expanded force protection measures at off-installation facilities, and is working on a long-term mass notification system, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in a Dec. 3 release. “Commanders remain fully empowered and are expected to make arming decisions for off-installation facilities consistent with existing authorities,” James said. “They are also best positioned to balance the mission with the threat and determine the appropriate level of security required for a given facility.” As a part of the new protocols, off-base facilities need to establish and maintain emergency action plans, which have to be practiced at least twice per year, according to the release. (See also: Heightened Base Defense Level to Stay)