Gate rules tighten at Vogelweh

Capt. Jennifer Lovett
Kaiserslautern American 

***image1***“Securing our installations is a top priority so that we can continue to work, live and play in a secure environment,” said said Col. Rich Weathers, 38th Combat Support Wing commander. “Our installation front gates and the attending security forces provide us with vital continuous security. To ensure that Vogelweh Military Complex presents the same secure environment with our other bases, new access procedures will require drivers to plan a little more time, use a little more patience, and maintain a courteous attitude when trying to drive onto Vogelweh.”

Due to recent incidents of inattentive driving by U.S. and non-U.S. forces individuals, 38th Combat Support Wing leadership has employed more stringent measures.

“We have significantly escalated security,” said Colonel Weathers, “to ensure no unauthorized personnel gain access to the installation.”

When entering the main gate, drivers will be greeted by a guard who will verify identification and then give direction to pull forward to a stop in front of a second guard.  The second guard will then signal when the driver is allowed to proceed.  

“This new procedure prevents inattentive drivers or others from creating a security incident,” said Col. Pete Ellis, 431st Air Base Group commander.  “Presenting IDs in a quick and ready manner will assist the gate guards in expediting entry.”

***image2***The appropriate identification for all vehicle occupants should be readily available and full adherence to the directions of the gate guard is mandatory.   

“Failing to follow the directions of the gate guards will result in further delays, possible severe damage to your vehicle, and if warranted, prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or applicable civil law,” said Colonel Ellis.  “Individuals entering our installations are expected to treat security forces personnel at the gates with the utmost respect and courtesy.”

Recently, a Luxembourg-plated vehicle failed to adhere to a gate guard’s instructions and drove through the gate without rendering proper identification and exited the back gate seven minutes later.

“Pranks or jokes, verbal or otherwise, imply intent to breech our security,” said Capt. Jason Harris, 569th Security Forces Squadron operations officer.  “These types of incidents are treated as genuine malicious acts.”
The enhanced security posture comes at a manpower cost to the security forces and could require closure of other gates.  

“Actual gate-running incidents, and even exercising to prevent them, requires an aggressive response to include closing all gates until the potential threat is neutralized,” said Captain Harris.  “It’s inconvenient for everyone, but failure to heed the directions of gate guards and running a gate is a crime.”

The new security measures are already in place and drivers should expect to spend a little more time than before gaining access to Vogelweh.

“Violators will be caught and prosecuted to the maximum extent possible,” said Colonel Ellis.