JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — The work of the 633rd Security Forces Squadron at Langley's LaSalle gate was worthy of a nod from the "Dirty Jobs" man himself.
"We've worked in some bad places, and that was a bad place," said Lt. Col. Scott Foley, 633rd SFS commander.
The gate served not only as an entrance for the thousands who work on Langley but as an inspection area for contract and commercial vehicles coming on to base. There, base defenders had no choice but to squeeze themselves between a filthy road and a dirty vehicle in every weather condition to thoroughly inspect each truck before it gained access to the installation.
But these Airmen's dirty job just became cleaner – and easier.
A new 9,000-square-foot Large Vehicle Inspection Station, complete with catwalks, inspection pits and blast-rated booths opened with a little bit of fanfare and a lot of excitement. "It's been a long time coming," said Col. Reggie Austin, 633rd Air Base Wing vice commander at the ribbon-cutting ceremony May 4. "[This] eliminates security threats and … keeps defenders out of harm's way."
Security forces Airmen previously worked a few feet from active lanes of traffic. This arrangement slowed inspection time and, in turn, created a perpetual line of trucks that slowed regular base traffic coming in through the LaSalle Gate.
The new $7.2 million inspection station can accommodate three vehicles at a time, which was part of the design to improve inspection efficiency, eliminate gate congestion and get the Airmen out of traffic.
The joint venture project, constructed by W.M. Jordan/Versar, Inc. and overseen by the Norfolk District, Army Corps of Engineers, includes a waiting area for drivers, a room for the canine unit and cameras for monitoring the inspection bay.
"With this facility, security forces can access each driver's license information and perform a basic background check," said Buff Jackson, Norfolk District construction representative. Specifications for LEED Silver certification – an internationally recognized standard for sustainable "green" buildings – were met during the design and construction of the facility. The station is phase one of a two-part project. The second phase of construction, which will take place at LaSalle Gate and begin this summer, will widen the road, add protective barriers and construct a visitor's building.