Sasebo upgrades main entrance for security, aesthetics
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — A main entrance not only nicer but far safer: That’s the payoff Sasebo residents can expect for facing some three more months of changed traffic patterns during a $300,000 rebuilding of the base’s main entrance structures, base officials said.
The base’s wooden overhead gateway and guardhouse are “25-plus years old and in really bad shape,” said Lt. Doug Herrin, Sasebo’s resident officer in charge of construction.
Both new main-entrance structures will offer cutting-edge force protection, he said, adding that both new reinforced concrete structures tentatively are to be completed by mid-July. They’ll resemble their predecessors, he said, but with new Japanese design features. Electrical and communication systems also are being upgraded and other force-protection features are being overhauled.
“The overhead will really be much better looking,” Herrin said Friday. “Most people get their first impression of the base coming through that main entrance.”
Security policy bars disclosure of force-protection specifics, but Jeff Brown, Sasebo’s physical security specialist, called the upgrades significant.
“The new security systems will all be automatic and allow for future upgrades,” he said. “We’ll have a 21st-century guardhouse and excellent protection for the security guards. Basically, it’s all going to be state of the art.”
During the project, incoming traffic has been rerouted through a gate near the commissary. Security personnel clear an exit lane through the main gate construction from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays for outgoing traffic. Aside from those hours, exiting vehicles must use the contractors’ gate near the Navy Exchange Auto Mini-Mart.
“So far, we haven’t had any major complaints about the traffic. It’s going about as smooth as it could,” Herrin said.
Contractor Oishi Kensetsu began construction March 20.