Main gate construction nears end

Construction at Nellis’ main entry gate is expected to be complete this week.

The gate’s refurbishment is part of a $9 million project to modernize all six of the base’s gates. According to Maj. Jon-Paul Mickle, 99th Security Forces Squadron commander, the entire project is expected to conclude this month.

“All of the gates received upgrades to better assist the public and provide for better force protection of the installation,” Major Mickle said.

Upgrades to the gates include increased parking at the visitors’ center; additional lanes for traffic flow and search operations; active-barrier systems that enable guards to deny entry to unauthorized personnel; bullet-resistant glass for the protection of the guards; and permanent speed tables, speed bumps, and rumble strips that slow traffic and alert drivers that they are approaching the installation.

More improvements are planned as funding becomes available. These improvements include the installation of sun shades at all the gates in order to protect guards from the harsh desert sun, plus the installation of pop-up tire shredders in outbound lanes to protect against vehicles attempting to breach security by entering that way.

In addition, at the Range Road gate, a temporary building will be set up to serve as a visitors’ center next to the existing parking lot. The building will be replaced by a permanent facility as soon as a funded design is developed. This gate will also receive desert landscaping when funding becomes available.

Major Mickle added that improvements to base access and security are ongoing.

“We are revising our installation security instructions and procedures to make sure we are protecting the base and balancing that with customer service,” said Major Mickle. “We are aggressively working improvements to the process and the physical design of our defense, and we will continue to make it better in the years to come.”

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