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New main gate opens in January

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Stephen Hudson
  • 169th Fighter Wing
Anyone coming on base starting in early January will see a new front gate with improved security features.

Construction started on the $2.2 million National Guard Bureau-funded project in early 2014. The new gate features facility improvements making the base current with Department of Defense antiterrorism standards. Everything done in the construction of the new gate was done to secure the base.

"This entire facility gives us the ability to lockdown the installation faster and more efficiently," said Maj. Gareth Fleischer, deputy base civil engineer, at McEntire.

Fleischer added with anything new it will take people time to get used to the layout at the front entrance.

During the construction, there were three projects happening at the same time. These projects included a new gate and gate house, a commercial vehicle inspection area, and a final denial barrier. The new gate house now sits 100 feet further back from Highway 378 now with anti-ramming protection and ballistic glass. A serpentine traffic lane funnels traffic to a final entry denial barrier before opening to where South Carolina and North Carolina Roads meet.

"Gates are the main line of defense," Master Sgt. Claude Turner, base installation and physical security manager, said. "To have a secure work environment, this had to be done." 

The main gate features "Tiger Teeth" on the exit to destroy vehicle tires of anyone trying to enter through the exit, bollards which can stop a tractor trailer and cable barriers. As drivers exit the gate, there is a pop-up barrier and a light system. Drivers need to watch the light connected to the barrier, if it is red they need to stop or risk damaging their vehicle.

Turner's message to anyone driving on and off McEntire, is to slow down and use caution. The posted speed limit entering the gate is 10 miles per hour and 15 miles per hour leaving the base.