Service members to guard gates for next 90 days
Action is part of mitigation plan
By Philip H. Jones
Command Information Chief, Public Affairs Office
The addition of military personnel serving as security guards is part of a Directorate of Emergency Services' mitigation plan to keep the controlled access gates open while Fort Meade transitions from contract security guards to Department of Army security guards, said Lt. Col. J. Darrell Sides, provost marshal and director of DES.
Augmenting the DA security guards with military personnel allows DES to recruit, train and deploy new security guards, Sides said. He anticipates using military personnel at the installation's controlled access gates for approximately the next 90 days or until DES has hired and trained all of the new DA Civilian guard force.
"All security policies and procedures will remain the same," said Sides. "The safety and security of the installation will not be compromised while the conversion takes place. There are no plans to close any of the present installation controlled access points or adjust the gate hours of operation."
The U.S. Army Installation Management Command ordered all of its installations to convert to using DA security guards as part of its plan to meet congressional mandates and the secretary of defense's in-sourcing targets.
The contracted guards will be replaced by trained, screened, and medically-processed Department of Army security guards. The majority of newly hired guards will also be former or retired service members.
The DES is finalizing its plan to use military personnel as security guards at Fort Meade gates, Sides said. Military personnel may include members of the 289th Military Police Company from Fort Meyers, Va. and from Fort Meade partner organizations.
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