The Army at Camp Humphreys in South Korea has taken a key step toward making it tougher for terrorists to ram their way into the big helicopter base, officials said.

Workers last week completed a security upgrade to Humphreys’ CPX gate, the heavily-traveled transit point for commercial truck traffic and other civilian vehicles doing business on the 1,230-acre base in central South Korea.

Construction began in September on the CPX gate on the facility’s southeastern perimeter.

The CPX gate is “where all the construction contractors are coming through,” said Bart Mirabal, Camp Humphreys public works chief. “All the heavy vehicle traffic comes through the CPX gate.”

Work crews built two bullet-proof guardhouses and a brick wall, laid new roads in and out of base and fitted the roadways with mechanical pop-up barriers aimed at impeding anyone trying to ram through in a vehicle, Mirabal said.

Also installed were cylindrical bollards — vertical, post-like obstructions that force motorists to move through the roadway in a series of gentle curves rather than in a straight path.

Workers also built roadside pull-offs where military police can search a suspect vehicle without blocking other traffic. They also built a new parking area for contractors and authorized visitors to use while being admitted to the base, said Mirabal.

“The building is to provide an office area for the guards to sign people in and issue passes and also a latrine, not only for the guards but for the visitors,” he said.

“The benefit is to everyone on the installation,” said Susan Barkley, Camp Humphreys public affairs chief. “It will be more difficult for anyone without proper authorization to gain access to the installation. It’s an enhanced level of protection.”

The Krima Construction Co. carried out the $740,000 project under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Officials plan further work on the CPX gate, said Mirabal, at a date and projected cost yet to be determined.

That second phase is expected to see construction of a security building and additional walls, he said.

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