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View of Main Gate entrance to Osan Air Base, South Korea. The Air Force will start a year-long construction project later this month to upgrade security at three base gates.

View of Main Gate entrance to Osan Air Base, South Korea. The Air Force will start a year-long construction project later this month to upgrade security at three base gates. (Franklin Fisher / S&S)

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — South Korea’s largest air base will be closing its gates to vehicles at various times during the next year to allow for installation of new security devices, including pop-up barriers, vehicle-search areas and police dog kennels.

Osan will close its Main and Beta gates starting Sept. 22 for eight months during the $2.5 million construction project.

The main gate will remain open to pedestrians.

“During the Main Gate closure, everybody’s going to need to use the Doolittle Gate or the AFOC gate,” said Capt. Jeff Lin of the 51st Civil Engineering Squadron, the construction management chief.

Once Main and Beta upgrades are complete, the base will reopen them and close Doolittle Gate for four months.

“Main is the primary access point for most people who work on base,” said 1st Lt. Tom Montgomery, a base spokesman. “Doolittle and Beta gates are often used by contractors who come to base to work.

“The driving force behind this project is to improve our force-protection posture. The new gate will meet or exceed all Air Force protection standards, thus making Osan a safer place to live and work. Osan airmen and those who work here have been asked to make efforts to carpool, walk, ride bikes and be aware of the other base entrances.”

Seoung Bu Construction Co. will do the work under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lin said.

Plans for Main and Beta gates call for building roadside turn-offs which will give Security Forces more space to pull over and search vehicles.

“This project will improve on our current vehicle search pull-off area so that Security Forces airmen can more efficiently and effectively ensure they have control over vehicle searches,” Montgomery said.

New tire-shredders will replace existing sets at Main and Doolittle gates, Lin said.

“They are kind of old and some of them are missing some teeth,” Lin said.

“I think those tire-shredders speak for themselves,” Montgomery added. “They provide a visible deterrent to anybody who would try to break through security.”

Pop-up “wedges” that put a steel wall in the path of a vehicle will also go in at all three gates, Lin said. And holes will be bored to allow quick installation of post-like barriers called “bollards” at Main Gate.

“They’ll be pre-done holes in the road, so whenever it’s required, they can just throw these big … poles into the ground so traffic cannot go straight through,” Lin said.

Main and Beta gates will get new guard stations and search dog kennels, he said.

New “drop-arm” vehicle barriers also will go in at Main and Doolittle gates, Lin said. Beta Gate will get swing gates.

Workers will put in a brick wall at Main Gate and a chain link fence for Beta and Doolittle, Lin said. All three locations will be landscaped.

In addition, work crews will rebuild Main Gate stairs to conform to U.S. standards. They’ll also repave the Doolittle Gate visitors center parking area, he said.


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