Gate security still top priority
February 10, 2014
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's chief of police recently reviewed gate security protocol with The Pentagram and asked for patience while motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians enter the joint base during the busiest traffic times daily, as well as during special events, including funerals and retirement ceremonies.
Chief William Johnson explained the basic protocol involved when a base employee, vendor or visitor approaches one of JBM-HH's four gates open for public, vehicular access.
"DoDI [Department of Defense Issuances] directs us to do 100 percent ID checks, so everybody who comes onto the installation must be checked," Johnson said. "When they come through, they are required to show an official government picture ID."
Williams noted the process then continues based on what type of identification is produced by a visitor. A CAC (Common Access Card) card will provide "unimpeded access," while an official government picture ID, like a driver's license, will send motorists to the search lanes at Hatfield or Wright Gates or Henderson Hall's Gate 1, according to Johnson.
But at any given time, anyone - including active-duty service members - may be asked to pull to the search lanes for a security check.
"Now at any point in time, everybody-including myself-is subject to random searches, which is a force-protection measure," said Williams. "At any point in time, whether you're a CAC card holder or not, you can be subject to a random search."
The chief stressed identification sweeps are random, and all personnel entering the joint base are subject to potential searches.
Williams also explained the busiest times for traffic are from 7 to 9 a.m. and the mid-day lunch hour. At those times, traffic flow at the gates is aided by additional law enforcement manpower.
At Fort McNair, installation traffic may enter at the Main Gate, also known as the Ceremonial Gate, and the 2nd Street Gate. Johnson urged motorists to seek an alternative gate for entry or exiting if traffic is congested at one gate on JBM-HH, including the McNair portion.
The Directorate of Emergency Services fielded a number of calls inquiring to the cause of a morning rush traffic back up at Hatfield Gate Jan. 30. The congestion was caused by traffic from a heavily-attended funeral, a retirement ceremony plus the average morning joint base traffic.