PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, Md. – Naval Air Station Patuxent River will adjust its base entry procedures in February 2021 to institute “stop-and-proceed” entry for vehicles coming on to all of its fence lines. The new procedures will require vehicles to stop at a designated point several feet before the gate until directed forward by gate sentries, and will be implemented at NAS Patuxent River, Webster Outlying Field, and Navy Recreation Center Solomons.
“Unlike the current entry procedure, where drivers come right up to the gate and show their credentials, the new stop-and-proceed will have drivers stop at a painted line with posted signage and wait to be signaled forward by the Naval Security Forces sentry,” said Allan Mayor, deputy antiterrorism officer at NAS Patuxent River. “Once directed by the sentry, drivers will then approach and stop at the sentry and present ID for verification.”
Mayor explained that the new procedures are intended to add an extra degree of scrutiny by security personnel to vehicles entering the installation. It allows sentries at the gates a brief but critical additional period for sentries to visually identify vehicles and occupants, and provided direction to approach when the sentry is ready.
“Following the attacks at NAS Corpus Christi and NAS Pensacola last year, it became apparent that an added level of security was necessary,” said Mayor. “While it may seem insignificant, seconds can mean life or death in an emergency situation.”
The stop-and-proceed method also provides watch standers with an indication of hostile intent should a driver attempt to proceed through the gate without stopping, allowing them to more quickly engage an attacker if necessary, added Mayor.
NAS Patuxent River does not anticipate major impacts to traffic as a result of the new procedures, but driver awareness of it is key to preventing delays.
“With any new entry procedure, driver distraction, attentiveness and unfamiliarity with new procedures may delay gate operations,” said Mayor. “But so long as drivers know what to expect ahead of time and follow posted signage, we shouldn’t see any major impacts to traffic.”
Stop line painting at Pax River and its associated fence lines is estimated to be complete Feb. 24, 2021 with an expected implementation of new gate procedures Feb. 25, 2021.
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