By Mr. Kenneth Fidler (IMCOM)June 27, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan won an antiterrorism award from the Installation Management Command, along with a $75,000 prize.
The garrison's $1.4 million renovation last summer of the South Post Visitor Center Gate, formerly known as Gate 17, earned the nod as one of the most innovative antiterrorism and force protection projects in IMCOM.
"The renovations and upgrades significantly enhanced our AT and FP environment for access control points," said Dennis Stockwell, USAG-Yongsan antiterrorism officer. "We are located in one of the most densely populated areas in Asia and had some unique challenges to address, primarily space and traffic congestion."
Officials renovated and upgraded all facilities that make up the access control gate and the visitor center as a result of recommendations from a 2005 inspection. A USAG-Yongsan committee reviewed previous inspection results to make sure the new design complied with current antiterrorism methods.
The South Post gate is a major entrance for incoming cargo trucks and connects to a major Seoul thoroughfare, Stockwell said.
"The city's population of about 11 million people creates unique traffic patterns and congestion," said Jim North, USAG-Yongsan Directorate of Emergency Services operations officer, who worked on the renovation project. "We worked with our host nation counterparts to make sure we address their concerns, as well, with thousands of vehicles coming in from and out to a very busy city street."
Major features of the gate include:
- Retractable, reinforced gate that replaced an old swing fence gate. This also widened traffic lanes.
- Commercial vehicle inspection point large enough to accommodate trailer trucks. An overhead canopy allows all-weather protection. Guards inspect an average of 30 commercial trucks daily.
- New visitor center located away from traffic operations, with 24-hour access and an expanded parking area. The center processes more than 1 million visitors a year.
"We're pleased with the result," North said. "The new gate area not only enhances security, but gives an overall professional appearance for both our workforce and our visitors."
The is the second consecutive year USAG-Yongsan has won an antiterrorism award. It won $25,000 last year for using a special X-ray van that randomly inspects parked and moving vehicles for explosive ordnance. "It has increased our detection capability by 100 percent," Stockwell said.
The money awarded to the garrison is put back into antiterrorism and force protection projects.