Blue Angels See Increase in Security Measures
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 02, 2016
Fifteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, more than eight years after the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas and now in the midst of the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, Pensacola Naval Air Station, home of the Navy’s popular Blue Angels, will be finally restricting access to the base.
The nation’s first naval air station in Pensacola, Florida has decided to enact strict new, permanent security measures intended to separate the nearly 1 million tourists who visit the base each year from the thousands of sailors, Marines and other military employees who work on the base.
Security expert are surprised it took this long for the base to realize the new security measures were needed. The previously open environment at the base is a reminder of how the bases used to be run, but today, all military installations, as well as anyone in a uniform, is a target.
In the past, base officials worked to prioritize safety while accommodating the steady flow of tourists, but now they have installed physical barriers that will keep the public away from military operations.
The base now has separate entrance gates, one for military members and base employees and another for tourists and other visitors. The gates are about three miles apart.
Visitors will have to show identification and carry a visitor pass issued in their name. The pass must be present to security officials at their destination, and anyone visiting military buildings or training areas must be issued a special visitors pass and be escorted.
Separating the tourists from its military operations has been complicated due to the close proximity of recreational areas to military buildings, but all those involved believe the new security measures are long overdue.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.