Army Barracks in Hawaii

Running the Gate

Army Barracks in Hawaii now protected from car and truck bombers

After the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the Defense Department has been consistently upgrading vehicle access to military bases and their living quarters worldwide. The latest anti-terrorist perimeter access control improvements are being phased in at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter on Hawaii's island of Oahu.

Schofield Barracks, with a population of more than 4,000, is the largest Army post in Hawaii, located on an 18,000- acre site in central Oahu. Since 1941, it has been the home of the 25th Infantry Division, known as the Tropic Lightning Division, as well as the command headquarters for U.S. Army Hawaii. Schofield Barracks also is home to the 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

As a result of the closure of U.S. military installations in Panama, the Tropic Regions Test Center was relocated to Hawaii, and the East Range at Schofield Barracks provides a location for soldier system and chemical-biological defense testing.

On Oahu, U.S. Army, Pacific, commands most Army forces in the Asia- Pacific region with the exception of Korea. It is headquartered on Fort Shafter with more than 5,000 soldiers, civilians, contractors and military families living and working on the 589-acre post.

Closing the Gaps

Between the two locations, there are 11 entrances—eight at Schofield and three at Shafter. The main entrances at both posts use crash barriers for protection, while all other entrances are guarded with drop-arm barricades. Each entrance uses a trapping technique to stop errant vehicles.

When determining how to protect Schofield and Shafter, officials found there were several options regarding how to proceed. In most perimeter access control situations, the barricade or gate is positioned directly on the perimeter to stop the vehicle right at the boundary. The barricade or gate is kept closed to ensure no vehicle can enter and is opened to let authorized vehicles through.

With thousands of people coming and going each day, this was impractical at the barracks. Plus, the Army decided it wanted to go a step further. While officials wanted to ensure that no truck or car bomber could get far enough onto the base to inflict damage, they also wanted to be able to entrap other types of errant vehicles and apprehend perpetrators.

Therefore, at all 11 entrances, there is a screening area where a guard stops all vehicles and checks identification. If everything is fine, the vehicle is authorized to continue onto the base. However, if a non-authorized vehicle ignores the guard or forces its way onto the base, the guard activates the vehicle access system, which stops the car dead in its tracks.

Additional Concerns

For aesthetic reasons, the Army decided to place Delta DSC501 high-security barricades at the main entrances at Schofield and Shafter. The blade is kept below ground and only raised in case of emergency, providing a cleaner look. The Army also was concerned with infrastructure problems, such as buried pipes, power lines, fiber-optic communication lines and other systems that are installed along the main entrances.

With a shallow foundation of only 18 inches, the DSC501 eliminated these concerns, reducing installation complexity, time, materials and costs. The units were installed within a week. Front-face warning lights warn drivers that the barricade is in the raised position, and there is an open area on the front for signage.

Up to the Challenge

A car traveling 60 miles per hour can be detected within 90 feet, and the DSC501 takes only 1 second to raise, enough time for the barricade to provide protection. In the lowered position, the barrier ramp is completely flush with the roadway. Buttresses, counterweights and road plates do not obstruct authorized pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

Since the main entrances come off more heavily traveled roads, the vehicle control system also needed to be able to stop the biggest vehicles. This barricade's K54 testing exceeds government mandates, meaning the barricade not only stopped and destroyed a 65,000-pound dump truck traveling 50 miles per hour (5.4 million footpounds) but was capable of preventing a potential second attack. In other words, the barricade system survived the K54 impact with all major elements intact. It was repaired and operating in only three hours.

The other 11 entrances at the two bases use drop-beam barricades because they cover a wider lane at a lower cost. This same Delta DSC7000 beam barricade is used worldwide at locations where wide roadways need to be secured from attacking vehicles.

It provides 12 to 200 feet of width protection with options to extend to 30 feet. The 725-pound beam of the vertical lift barricade completely stops a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 mph, equivalent to 1.2-million foot-pounds of kinetic energy, and meets the K12 crash certification standard set by the State Department. Each beam barricade takes about five days to install.

At Schofield and Shafter, the barricade is left in the upright position at all times. In case of emergency, the guard drops the beam. Providing a 0.7 second, emergency fast closing time, the DSC7000 beam barricade meets and exceeds multiple agency standards for closing time requirements, including DOS, DOD, Army Corps of Engineers Access Control Points and Army Corps of Engineers, Emergency Fast Operating.

Similar systems are used at other Army locales, as well as at Navy and Air Force bases, worldwide. The first DSC501 was built for the Navy and installed at a Navy base while the Air Force has deployed more than 540 of the barricades.

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