Gate guards change, introduce civilian element

  • Published
  • By Jennifer Brugman
  • 60th AMW Public Affairs
Travis people can expect to see civilians or Department of Defense guards manning the gates within the next month or two, according to officials here.

“It’s not the phasing out of gate duty for military people,” said Master Sgt. Paul Maliska, NCOIC Operations Support. “Across the Air Force, Security Forces is so over-stressed with deployments that we have to look at other ways to backfill manpower shortfalls and our DoD guards is one answer to help deal with the problem. Our squadron is one of the most heavily deployed at Travis. We work 70-hour weeks, 14-hour shifts, with no end in sight.

“The guards coming on board will help accomplish the security mission at Travis and enable our forces to fight the war abroad,” he said.

A group of civilians are already working at the North and South Gates.

“These guys are trained just as we are,” Sergeant Maliska said.

The DoD guards receive 10 days of training in customs, courtesies, searching, handcuffing, weapons training, DUI procedures and other items dealing with Installation Entry Control duties.

“People should see no difference in service,” said Officer Esteban Plaza, one of the DoD guards. “We are held to the same standards. I feel very confident. The public is very aware of what they are required to do to gain access. They understand that if they can’t comply with our regulations they can’t come in.”

The next group of DoD guards began training Tuesday and will begin work rotation Friday.

Travis is not the first base to use DoD guards. Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was the testing ground and had great success with the program according to Sergeant Maliska.

“This is nothing new to the Air Force,” he said. “This is just new here.”

People will begin seeing the blue-uniformed DoD guards at the Hospital Gate in mid-March.