Since 9-11, the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (Huntsville Center), has been helping Army installations comply with stricter access control point requirements.
Now, the Air Force is taking advantage of 15 years of experience by using a Huntsville Center contracting vehicle to ensure sustained security at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Huntsville Center’s Access Control Point (ACP) program’s maintenance and services (M&S) multiple award task order contract (MATOC) guarantees active barrier systems (ABS) — electro-mechanical equipment that can prevent passage of vehicles when engaged — receive preventative and corrective maintenance and emergency repairs ensuring any threat vehicles are stopped before they enter the installation.
Jeffery Neilsen, Air Force Civil Engineer Center director of operations said his agency and the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency (AFICA) were putting forth efforts to secure an enterprise-wide contract for barrier maintenance when he learned of the Center’s MATOC.
After reviewing the Center’s MATOC, Neilsen said he felt it would be a good fit for the New Mexico Air Force base, especially since in-house maintenance was being used to maintain its AVBs.
“We determined Holloman was in a situation where the MATOC could be a benefit,” Neilson said.
“The costs associated with using in-house AVB maintenance is higher as the manpower dedicated for AVB maintenance isn’t funded, and the time Holloman’s Airmen dedicated to AVB maintenance would be best used elsewhere.”
Col. Robert Brown, 49th Mission Support Group commander, said the demands for maintenance and testing of the barriers was a tremendous task for his security forces and civil engineers.
“Like all Fightin' 49ers they willingly accepted the challenge and completed it as directed, but ultimately it just didn't make sense to do it in-house,” Brown said.
"By utilizing the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center MATOC to accomplish maintenance and testing, rather than personnel from the 49th Civil Engineering and 49th Security Forces squadrons, we can return those Airmen to higher priority tasks more associated with their career fields.”
Ron Brook, Huntsville Center’s ACP program manager, said although the Holloman MATOC is a pilot program, he said he hopes the Air Force sees the value of the Center’s ACP program and continues to utilize the program service-wide.
“The program isn’t just capable in executing maintenance projects,” Brook said. “The ACP design and construction MATOC is also a valuable tool, and I hope Air Force leadership will learn more about ACP program capabilities as they see the requirements for upgrades rise in the near future,” Brook said.
“Huntsville Center’s ACP program is tried and true. We’ve provided program oversight for more than 250 AVBs at 225 gates on more than 40 Army sites.”
Huntsville Center’s ACP program was “developed” after the terror attacks of 9-11. As security requirements increased, barrier system were rapidly installed at Department of Defense locations and many of the active barriers put in place at bases were locally designed and installed.
However, during the post- 9-11 years, the Army sought Huntsville Center’s experience with electronic security systems and other similar programs to improve both gate and personnel security while reducing traffic congestion according to Army standards. The result was the creation of the ACP program that employed project development teams to figure best practices to ensure access control points meet all applicable Department of Defense and agency specific standards.
“Our contracting and management capabilities provide M&S as well as design-build construction and infrastructure upgrades to ACPs at facilities worldwide,” Brook said.
Brook said the advantage to using the Center’s ACP program is that the M&S MATOCs deliver pre-approved pools of contractors to provide maintenance and repair services for equipment within an ACP footprint and the programs’ design-build contracts contain pre-approved pools of contractors that can provide design and construction services for an ACP within a single contract award.
“We also have the capability to provide engineering services to meet planning requirements for any ACP project, and as the Air Force begins re-evaluating its future security requirements, we hope we can assist them by leveraging technical expertise within the Army Corps of Engineers and providing the best project value for its specific requirements,” Brook said.
Brook said other advantages to the ACP program is that it partners with other organizations such as the USACE Protective Design Center (PDC) and Center of Standardization(CoS), the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Traffic Engineering Agency (SDDCTEA) and the Electronic Security Systems Center of Expertise (ESSCX).
Additionally, Brook said the ACP program can assist in locating required USACE resources for almost any action required.
“The program strives to maintain maximum flexibility to meet customer needs including the use of ordering officers and the use of local USACE resources to ensure that the best products possible are provided in a seamless manner,” Brook said.
“Our program also installs visitor control center and equipment infrastructure, closed circuit TV equipment through Huntsville Center’s Electronic Security Systems program and other items with design-build contracts. This offers an enormous benefit to customers as issues identified by the site which cannot be executed by the M&S contractor can rapidly be developed into projects that are issued via the ACP design-build MATOC and certain requirements can also be addressed via the USACE CoS or PDC,” he said.
The ACP program works closely with the PDC, which provides a wide array of technical services that include commissioning ACPs to the Department of Defense standard and site evaluations that assess equipment condition and the site’s compliance with DoD ACP standards.
The assessments can be used to develop cost Information for funding requests and provide site personnel with a full picture of the ACP’s condition. The ACP program can also provide cost estimating and scoping support for funding requests.
“We’ve been doing this a long time and over the years we certainly have gained the expertise,” Brook said.