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(Enlarge) Airman 1st Class Cody Cardinal, 94th Intelligence Squadron, returns an identification card to a Fort Meade visitor. On Monday, Fort Meade service members began assisting in manning the installation's five access control points. The addition of military personnel serving as security guards is part of a Directorate of Emergency Services mitigation plan to allow Fort Meade to transition from contract security guards to Department of Army security guards. (Photo by Marine Pvt. Ronald Brink)

Monday marked the first day Fort Meade service members began a temporary duty assignment assisting in manning the installation's five access control points.

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.

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