Force Protection Improvements at Edwards

  • Published
  • By Frank Sporer
  • 95th Air Base Wing Plans and Programs
The events of September 11, 2001, forever changed the way the Air Force conducts its day-to-day operations. In light of the increased threat to Americans on our own soil, the USAF has felt the deep effects of the increased force protection posture that has gripped every U.S. military installation worldwide. A key priority here is force protection security is not a convenience.

You may have noticed some increased security measures going on around base. Let's start at the installation gates. If you use the North Gate, the first thing you notice is the traffic calming we have created on the inbound and outbound lanes. This is a mandatory requirement. Previously vehicles could approach the gates at very high speeds, putting both guards and operators in immediate danger whether intentionally or not.

We have replaced the previous pop-up barriers should a vehicle run the gate. Had the pop-up barrier been deployed there was mostly a 95 percent chance of a fatality versus the new net barrier system, which has only a 2 percent chance of a fatality if deployed on a vehicle. And lastly, the lighting. For years the installations gates have lacked the proper lighting. Until now, Edwards gates are in compliance with directives and have both guard and vehicle operator safety in mind.

Now the Air Force has a slogan, "every Airman is a sensor." Here we like to expand that and state "everyone is a sensor." That means if you see anything out of the ordinary report it to the authorities, so it can be investigated. The theory is "if you think it isn't right it probably isn't."