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Fort Drum 'Polar Bears' continue into 6th day on lockdown

This image has been circulating Facebook groups related to the 4th Batallion, 31st Infantry at Fort Drum.

More than a hundred Fort Drum soldiers have been barred from going home since Friday when a post official discovered a piece of Army equipment was missing. Soldiers have been kept on post for six days now.

The missing item is a night vision device used in combat and training missions. Its worth between $2,000 and $3,000.

Julie Halpin, a spokesperson with Fort Drum, says military police are looking into when and how it disappeared.

“Each soldier gets things that they are responsible for – their helmet, their vest and their uniform- all these things that are on their personal hand receipt. But there are things that are used in training and combat that are not signed for by and individual. They’re signed for by a company commander for  use by [multiple] soldiers.”

On Friday, military police put 500 soldiers on lock down but they've narrowed their investigation to 130 soldiers and let the rest go home.  Meanwhile, soldiers are working  like normal but they can't leave.  Instead they're eating MREs, or meals ready to eat, and sleeping on cots in their offices until the investigation is complete.

The unit, also known as the Polar Bears, returned from Afghanistan in early February. Facebook is afire with comments about the situation and images of real life polar bears asking battalion commanders to end the lock down and free the Polar Bears.