A Permanent Solutions
Temporary barriers serve many customers from a political event to farmers’ market
The trend that has catapulted to the top of the list
for vehicle perimeter security is securing temporary
events with certified crash equipment that can be
installed in only 15 minutes by the customer and
simply towed away when the occasion is over – such
as protecting farmers’ market shoppers from an errant vehicle or
a political event’s spectators from car and truck bombers. Other
popular applications for these portable barriers are sporting
events and festivals. Security staff can tow them into place on the
day the event and provide a safe environment for spectators and
employees. At the very apex of this trend is providing a means to
defend against terrorist vehicles being used as weapons.
NAVAL AIR STATION-CORPUS CHRISTI’S
On Feb. 14, 2019, a Delta MP5000 portable barrier stopped a
stolen Ford Edge crossover SUV at the North Gate of the Naval
Air Station - Corpus Christi. The trespasser had driven across the
base to escape but crashed into the temporary unit and erupted
into flames. The driver was shot and killed.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. Eight months later, on
Oct. 7, 2019, the portable barrier again stopped a stolen Dodge
Ram pick-up truck at an entrance gate. This stolen car was chased
by the local police onto the base. The barrier then impacted the
rear of the vehicle, disabling it.
Then, on May 21, 2020, a terrorist tried to speed past a portable
barrier onto the base. The Naval Air Station - Corpus Christi
intruder shot at the gate’s base security sailor but struck her
bullet-resistant vest. According to the Associated Press, the sailor,
who survived, then rolled over and hit the switch that raised the
barrier, preventing the terrorist from gaining access to the base.
HOW IT WORKS
The mobile deployable vehicle crash barriers carry an ASTM rating
as high as M50, able to stop and disable a 15,000 pound G.V.W.
vehicle moving at 50 mph. The mobile, crash barrier can be towed
into position by a medium-sized pick-up truck or equivalent and
deploys in 15 minutes. Both M30 and M40 rated barriers are also
available. It is available in 12-, 16- and 20-foot openings.
Within 15 minutes, the barrier lowers itself into position with
built-in hydraulic jacks. The trailer is stored off to the side completing
the deployment. To move the barrier, the procedures are
simply reversed. Both the operation of the barrier as well as deployment
and retrieval are push-button controlled.
A standard system includes a battery-operated power unit, replenished
from either a solar array or multiple local low-voltage
sources. Optionally, a hydraulic power unit operated on a locally
supplied power or full manual system, or combination, is available.
Both the locally powered and battery powered hydraulic
pumping unit can be sized to provide pass-through rates suitable
for most inspection and identification station requirements.
The barricade operates at rates between 10 to 15 seconds for
a full up-down cycle on the standard H4050 12v battery powered
HPU. Sustained rates of 40 cycles per hour can be maintained inde
finitely, depending on the recharging methods employed. Delta
also offers an upgraded H8050 24v battery powered HPU that
allows for cycle rates of 5-7 seconds for a full up/down cycle as
well as additional control options and an EFO of 2 seconds. Sustained
rates on this unit can reach 80 to 100 cycles per hour when
plugged into a standard 120/220v power source.
It can be easier to sell or buy portable barriers than permanent
barriers. The latter are oftentimes placed into an organization’s real
assets budget because they are permanently installed into the ground,
becoming part of the property. Such budgets can often create complex
purchasing scenarios for a dealer or buyer. However, obtaining portable
barriers is no different than acquiring protective vests for staff or
new sets of wrenches for the maintenance department. For one time
uses, a lease plan has been created where organizations can simply
lease the portable barriers, use them, pack them up and return them.
AT THE ORANGE COUNTY (CALIF.) FAIR
The Orange County Fair (Costa Mesa, Calif.) deploys two portable
barriers to protect 1.4 million guests over the event’s 23 day run. In
addition, the fair organization also makes the barriers available to
a 65,000 attendee pet fair, 45,000 guest tattoo fair and 200 other
yearly events that are hosted by the fairgrounds annually.
“The first (portable barrier) was deployed two years ago at
our service/employee gate, which also provides access to our fire
lane,” said Nick Buffa, director of security and traffic operations,
Orange County Fair. “We were concerned with potential vehicle
attacks, especially at this gate, which has a 75 meter run-up in
which a vehicle can really gain speed. How do you stop that? Plus,
we only needed it periodically. After doing nationwide research
and reviewing (options), we selected the 16-foot version.”
Of all the compliments Buffa has received from people on his
installation, he says that the comment he remembers most was
from a 30-year carnival worker who told him, “I’ve never seen a
fairground do this for us. I’m always afraid of a car attack.”
Over the last year, Buffa went back to his Board and requested
a 20-foot (version) to install at the main gate. Like the other (portable
barrier), it remains in the up-position during fair operations
but lies flat at night so that maintenance and service vehicles can
easily come and go. He hopes to add more barriers in the future.
“The MP5000 is not the cheapest solution to preventing vehicle attacks but it is worth every penny,” Buffa emphasizes. “If it
prevents one death, it’s done its job.”
IN THE LAND DOWN UNDER
The use of portable barriers is not limited to the United States. They
were also selected to protect people attending the most recent Commonwealth
Games held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia,
including 4,400 athletes from 70 Commonwealth nations, competing
in 19 championship sports. It was the largest sporting event in Australia
since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Organizers required a
vehicle access system that could be rapidly deployed and would create
secure vehicle check points that carried crash-certification.
Security focus had begun years prior to the games and went beyond
hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) measures to include various other
identified security risks. Perimeter security measures were aligned with
the recently implemented Australia and New Zealand Counter Terrorism
Committee (ANZCTC) strategy for the protection of places of
mass gatherings. A core element of this strategy was the effective and
practical implementation of HVM measures at key locations.
Delta partner Knight Brothers Pty Ltd secured the contract
for the vehicle barrier systems and liaised closely with organizers
to ensure that specific security measures could be achieved
through implementing these unique barrier systems.
“Barriers protected major event venues including the main
games stadium, Gold Coast Convention Centre, the Athletes Village
and critical street closures throughout the Gold Coast area,”
said Matthew Knight, director of Knight Brothers. “It was important
for the Games’ operations that access for emergency and authorized
vehicles was maintained through the duration of the event.
“The primary use of the 20-foot (6m) portable barriers was
in public areas where ground fixation or in-situ HVM measures
were not practical or achievable,” Knight said. “Barriers were deployed
in a variety of configurations in order to meet security and
access needs. This included direct access points as well as heightened
temporary security check points with stringent vehicle inspections
undertaken by Australian Defense Force staff.
“Training of barrier deployment and operation was conducted
directly to Commonwealth Games security staff during barrier
delivery and commissioning. This ensured seamless integration
of the systems across the various deployment locations. We were
very proud to be a part of this prestigious sporting event and
to provide the first known deployment of portable active vehicle
barriers systems on Australian soil.”
Staying one step ahead by identifying vulnerable areas, and securing
them, is critical to staving off vehicular attacks. That means being
able to deploy security equipment in tough conditions at a moment’s
notice. Such equipment exists, portable temporary barriers.
Terrorists typically don’t go where they see barricades, so placing
them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security
risks dramatically. Temporary barriers are often used to protect
facilities while permanent ones are being built. Plus, they’ve even
been effective for the long-term where physical
conditions preclude permanent solutions.
Their most common use, though, is for
when vehicle access is required temporarily.
This article originally appeared in the March 2021 issue of Security Today.