A screening process has been employed for authorizing entry to Arnold Air Force Base to ensure the health of Arnold Engineering Development Complex personnel during the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, pandemic.
The screening procedures continue to be modified as necessary. As of April 6, only employees involved in executing operationally urgent operations have been allowed to enter the base.
Ray Kelly, Chief of the Security Forces Office at Arnold, is working closely with Contract Security Lead Kevin Holton and his team and stated that he appreciates the team’s positive attitude throughout this tumultuous time.
“They have done an amazing job remaining flexible to changing security requirements to keep the base safe,” he said.
In addition to having a limited workforce, other restrictions include:
- If an individual has tested positive or has had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- If an individual has developed a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
- If an individual has been to a list of “hotspot” states outside of Tennessee or designated counties in Tennessee and neighboring states. An entire list can be found online at https://www.arnold.af.mil/coronavirus/
In addition to asking personnel questions based on the above list, the security guards are using a no-touch ID card policy. The policy requires those entering the base to present their IDs to the guards to scan. The guards are also practicing social distancing as much as possible.
Kelly noted that there have been changes to the way base deliveries are being handled.
“Non-essential deliveries have been postponed for 30 days, and there have been additional screening measures put in place for essential deliveries like food and mission-specific equipment and supplies,” he said.
In light of these changes, Kelly applauds Contract Security’s efforts to protect the rest of the base.
“All of the contract security guards are doing a tremendous job remaining flexible to ever-changing processes and procedures from the supervisors on shift, security controllers in the Base Defense Operations Center, to the gate guards standing post,” he said. “Gene Mittuch (project manager for the Facility Support Services II contract), Kevin Holton, and the entire Security Contractor’s leadership team has been instrumental in executing the policies and procedures put forth by the AEDC Commander.
“I would like to ask the workforce to remain patient and flexible as there may be more changes to procedures depending on the length of this situation.”
Photo: Arnold Air Force Base Contract Security personnel ask individuals entering the base a series of COVID-19 screening questions as a requirement to be allowed entry to the base March 23. The questions include if individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, locations of recent travel or if experiencing relevant symptoms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett) (This image was altered by obscuring items for security purposes.)