House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) is demanding the Pentagon provide answers on security measures at U.S. naval installations.
"I am highly concerned that the access control systems at our nation’s military installations have serious security flaws," Turner wrote to acting Pentagon Inspector General (IG) Lynne Halbrooks on Monday.
"Potentially numerous felons may have been able to gain unrestricted access to several military installations across the country due to the insufficient background checks, increasing the risk to our military personnel and civilian employees.” writes Turner.
Police identified the shooting suspect as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Ft. Worth, Texas. He was among the 13 killed, according to D.C. police.
Alexis was identified as a former sailor who enlisted in the Navy in 2007 and served until 2011, according to biographical information released by the Navy. He reached the rank of petty officer 3rd class.
While in the Navy, Alexis was reportedly arrested on misdemeanor weapons charges in Ft. Worth, Texas.
It remains unclear how Alexis was able to gain access to the service headquarters at the Navy Yard and the building housing Naval Sea Systems Command, where the shootings took place.
However, Turner noted Alexis's breach of base security on Monday could have been made possible by a number of critical gaps in the Navy's force protection policies.
The Ohio Republican is seeking information on a Pentagon-led inquiry into the Navy's procedures on securing access to the sea service's bases and installations around the world.
The DOD IG's audit, run by Assistant Inspector General for Readiness, Operations, and Support Alice Carey, looked into those security procedures under the Navy Commercial Access Control System.
At the time, Carey's inquiry requested details on the system success or failure at several Navy and Pentagon installations in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
One of the locations on the audit list was Navy Installations Command, which is headquartered at the Navy Yard in Washington.
An initial draft of Carey's report may have been released Monday morning immediately following the Navy Yard shootings.
"Following this tragedy, it is imperative that Members of Congress be thoroughly briefed on the outcome of this audit as it is directly linked to the security of our uniformed and civilian personnel," she said.
All military members and civilians at the Navy Yard and elsewhere are subjected to "100 percent" identification checks and are required to pass through multiple checkpoints before coming on base property, according to a Navy official.
Aside from identification checks, military personnel are also required to show their Common Access Card, or CAC, before going on base.
A CAC is assigned to all service members, allowing them access to military-only facilities, the official added.
While an individual's identification is always checked visually, those CACs or other ID cards are only occasionally scanned via computer to verify their validity.
Forged military or civilian IDs are "always a concern," according to the service official.
But the official noted that members of the service's base security force are trained to spot falsified or doctored identification or CACs.