You may have noticed installation security guards are wearing a different uniform, however, the mission remains the same: Ensuring the safety of the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall community.
At 12:01 a.m. Feb. 9, private contractor GAS Government Services, formerly Wackenhut Services Inc., will no longer handle security for JBM-HH, said Capt. Tracie Miller of the joint base police force. Instead, security at the installation will be handled by military police officers and Department of the Army security guards, who are federal civilian employees.
"We have taken great care and concern during this migration process," she said. "We've been working on it for three years and our primary concern is to ensure the safety and integrity of the installation is not compromised by this switch in personnel. We intend it to be as seamless as possible for all the personnel. The safety and security of the installation will not change as a result of this change of personnel."
Miller said the change comes in response to congressional mandates that previously waived the prohibition against using contract security guards at military installations.
"As a result, the Department of Defense must revert to using servicemembers or federal employees in security positions," she explained.
Congress originally waived the prohibition after Sept. 11, 2001, when the availability of military personnel to provide access control was reduced as a result of deployments. The new changes are a result of fundamentally different fiscal reality.
Miller said initially the policy and procedures governing entrance to the installation will not change. "The same requirements that are utilized on a daily basis to enter the installation will remain unchanged as far as ID cards and insurance," she said. "However, [the public] may experience some changes to gate operational hours."
When changes to gate hours occur, they will be publicized in the Pentagram, on the installation's various social media platforms and in retiree newsletters, Miller said.
Some Department of the Army guards have already been working security at Hatfield Gate during their shifts for the past several weeks, Miller noted.
Individuals who have questions about the changes should call 703-588-2800/2801 for the Fort Myer and Henderson Hall portions of the joint base and 202-685-3139 for the Fort McNair portion of JBM-HH.