Hundreds of Soldiers from throughout the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz footprint participated in a three-day course designed to train Soldiers on the proper procedures for conducting installation access control.
Guard force training courses have been conducted at various dates over the last eight weeks. They teach Soldiers a number of force protection measures from escalation of force to proper vehicle search procedures.
Currently, security guards working for Ponds Security are responsible for installation control in the KMC; however, due to a contracting issue, until recently it was unknown if Ponds Security would be able to continue in its role as installation access controllers.
“We have been conducting guard force training in the event the Ponds guards’ contract defaults, which did not happen,” said Staff Sgt. Germell Johnson, physical security inspector for USAG-RP. “They did end up getting their contract extended, but we still had to train the Soldiers just in case they had to take over responsibility at the gates.”
Though the Ponds Security contract has been extended for a few more months, the future of a new contract is unknown, meaning Soldiers need to be prepared to take over responsibility at the gates.
After conducting numerous classes over an eight-week period, instructors were able to use previous classes to continually improve on the course in order to provide Soldiers with the best training experience in a short time.
“The last week has worked out as the best week,” Johnson said. “Going from week one to week eight and having (after action reviews) after each course has helped us to solidify the training.”
Soldiers learned how to properly conduct operations at the installation access control points to ensure the security and safety of the personnel working and the families living on the many bases throughout the area.
“The training is important, because we need to know the proper way to do things in order to protect the base, our loved ones and our battle buddies that live on base with us,” said Sgt. Joshua Overton, human resources NCO with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
Pfc. Michael Pierre-Louis, intelligence analyst with the 21st TSC, agrees.
“It’s important because it reinforces what everyone should already be able to do,” he said. “As a Soldier, you should be able to guard a post.”
On the final day of training, Soldiers were given hands-on instruction on the type of work they would be doing at the gate.
From using the installation control access system personal digital assistants, to scanning identification cards, to conducting vehicle searches and individual pat downs, the Soldiers learned a number of techniques to ensure the security at the gates remains high.
Overall, Soldiers learned how important installation access control is. Those who work at the main gates are the first line of defense for the many thousands of service members,
civilians and family members working and residing on the bases.
“Everyone here took the training seriously, so that we all will know how to do the job correctly if called upon,” Overton said. “I know I can rely on my battle buddies to have my back.”