4 service members on Pence detail removed for bringing women back to Panama hotel

PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence pauses while speaking at the Young Americas Foundations 39th annual National Conservative Student Conference, Aug. 4, 2017, in Washington.PlayAlex Brandon/AP
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Four U.S. military service members who were part of Vice President Mike Pence's communications team have been reassigned after bringing women back to their hotel in Panama without registering them, U.S. officials have confirmed.

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The incident in Panama City happened last week, around the time that Pence was visiting the Central American nation.

The three Army soldiers and Air Force airman were reassigned to their home services pending an investigation into why they did not register the women into a secure area as required by security protocols, according to officials.

Pence visited Panama on August 17, wrapping up a trip to South America, which included stops in Colombia, Argentina and Chile.

"We are aware of the incident and it is currently under investigation," Colonel Patrick Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, said in a statement. "We can confirm that the individuals in question have been reassigned back to the Army and Air Force."

Pence's office is referring requests for comment to the Department of Defense.

Officials said the soldiers and airman were all non-commissioned officers assigned to the White House Communications Agency (WHCA).

The agency is staffed by military communications specialists who among their duties set up secure communications networks for the President or Vice President during domestic and overseas travel.