Active vehicle barriers provide security

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
Active vehicle barriers are one of the fastest and most efficent deterrents available to aid security forces maintain secure perimeters for Air Force installations, and Beale AFB is no exception.

Barriers are armed and actively ready for deployment if vehicles attempt to bypass any of Beale's entry control points.

"All five gates here have a barrier," said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Bowling, 9th Security Forces Squadron assistant NCO in charge of training. "Each one ensures unauthorized personnel with hostile intentions are denied base access."

According to Bowling, barriers are also utilized to prevent fleeing suspects from exiting the base.

Although barriers remain one of the most helpful deterrents against unauthorized entry to military installations, they do pose a safety risk.

"If vehicle operators do not abide by the posted regulations, the barriers will be activated, resulting in major vehicle damage and possible serious injury or death," said Mike Seymour, 9th Reconnaissance Wing antiterrorism officer.

The posted speed limit for the cantonment zone (the area between the guardhouse and the active vehicle barrier) is 10 MPH. Vehicle operators must maintain this speed to have ample time to stop their vehicle should the barrier be activated.

When entry control points are designed in agreement with Unified Facility Criteria and Unified Facility Guide Specifications all the mandatory safety and threat reduction features will be incorporated, examined, and certified prior to operation.

"Safety is our utmost priority," Seymour said. "Maintaining base security is paramount, but we want to ensure base personnel are aware of the risks associated with active barriers."

(Information from an article written by Jeffrey Nielsen and Tracy Coughlin published in the Vol. 21 issue of Air Force Civil Engineer Magazine was used in this story.)