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Speed bumps help make base safer

KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq -- Tech. Sgt. Mark Gilding, 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment NCOIC, installs new speed bumps here May 22.  The speed bumps are meant to not only control speed mitigation, but increase the safety of the security forces Airmen manning the gates and protect more than 6,000 servicemembers deployed here. Sergeant Gilding, a Colorado Springs, Colo., native, is deployed here from Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo / Staff Sgt. Eunique Stevens)

Tech. Sgt. Mark Gilding, NCO in charge of 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment, installs new speed bumps at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq, May 22, 2009. The speed bumps are meant to not only reduce speed but also increase safety for security forces Airmen manning the base’s gates. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Eunique Stevens)

KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq -- Up, over and down. Drivers here may find speed bumps annoying but they are helping to thwart terrorists at security checkpoint gates.

After Airmen in the 506th Air Expeditionary Group's antiterrorism force protection section identified a vulnerability in base security, the 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron tackled the problem by installing speed bumps at base gates here May 22.

The new speed bumps not only slow drivers but also increase safety for the security forces Airmen manning the gates and protecting more than 6,000 servicemembers deployed here, said Chief Master Sgt. Suzy Clemons, ATFP superintendent.

Senior Airman Sherry Houston, 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, said she feels safer with the new speed bumps. She guards one of many gates at Kirkuk Regional Air Base.

"It's a deterrent for a vehicle-borne explosive device to detonate before it reaches the internal system of the base," said the Air Force reservist from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Airman Houston also said that in the event of a gate-runner, a person who neglects security screening at the checkpoint, the speed bumps will slow down his vehicle and allow time for security forces to engage him.

These new speed bumps are an upgrade from traditional speed mitigation methods.

Instead of traditional asphalt speed bumps, the 506th ECES designed and welded a metal structure that can be used more efficiently, said Chief Clemons, who is from Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command at Robins AFB, Ga.

The design of the new speed bumps allows Airmen to produce them much faster than traditional asphalt speed bumps, which have a 28-day cure time, said the chief.

"There is no cure time with the new design because they are pre-made and installed into the ground," she said. "You can't just shut a gate to a base down for 28 days."

The installation process at one gate took less than an hour, and the finished product is more durable because it is made with metal pipes.

"With vehicle traffic, the asphalt speed bumps will break apart over time," explained Tech Sgt. Mark Gilding, 506th CES, who helped install the road obstacles.

Sergeant Gilding, a reservist from Peterson AFB, Colo., said he felt good he's helping make a difference in the installation's security.

He said people should feel better about the speed bumps knowing that they are helping to make the base safer.  (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)