The shooting by Saudi aviation student Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani was particularly shocking, as it happened on a USA military base, and he was a vetted worldwide military student.
The U.S. Navy on Tuesday suspended almost 300 Saudi students from flight training in response to the deadly shooting by a Saudi student last Friday in Pensacola, Fla., a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.
Navy Commander Clay Doss said classroom training is going to start again this week, and flight training for other students will resume.
The order impacts about 140 students at NAS Pensacola, 35 at nearby Whiting Field and almost 130 at NAS Mayport. "We share mutual security interests", Esper said over the weekend.
The shootings have again raised questions about the USA military relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has come under heightened scrutiny in Congress over the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia's killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago.
The operational pause in flight training will not apply to students from countries other than Saudi Arabia.
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Norquist in the memo directed the defense undersecretary for intelligence to "take immediate steps to strengthen personnel vetting" for worldwide students and to review "policies and procedures for screening foreign students and granting access to our bases".
"These efforts will seek to more closely align IMS vetting procedures with those we apply to USA personnel", he added. According to the Defense Department there are now 5,181 foreign students from 153 countries in the United States for DOD-led security cooperation related training across all of the military services.
The Air Force said its groundings of Saudi aviation students also applied to additional USA bases.
"We are ensuring our Saudi students have access to available resources to help them deal with these circumstances".
Classroom training for those students is expected to restart sometime this week.
In the wake of the shootings, the U.S. Northern Command immediately ordered all military installations to review force protection measures and to increase "random security measures".