Story by Keith Hayes on 09/13/2018The two entrance gates aboard the Yermo Annex of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow have changed roles to increase security and allow for more efficient processing of incoming and outgoing traffic.
William Atkinson, deputy chief, Marine Corps Police Department, said the gate near the landmark Peggy Sue's 50's Dinner on Yermo Road as of September 10, is now the main entrance for all workers aboard the Annex 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Atkinson said one of the reasons for the switch is because the MCPD now has sufficient personnel to man both gates.
It also means that what had been the main gate near the Lt. Col. Robert A. Lindsley, USMC Ret., Base Stables, is now the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Gate.
Employees in private vehicles can still enter this gate during its operating hours of 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Atkinson explained, but commercial vehicle traffic takes precedence, so be prepared for delays as trucks are searched before entering the base.
The commercial vehicle gate is also open during peak traffic times of 5:45 to 6:30 a.m. and 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on non-Regular Day Off Fridays.
Commercial vehicles are not allowed on base until 7 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
Atkinson said the added benefit of using the Peggy Sue gate as the main entrance means most employees who work at the base will not have to contend with trains as they make their way to work. There are no rail lines between the 15 Freeway Calico Road exit and Yermo Road, unlike the railways intersecting with Yermo Road if workers use the I-40 Freeway on their way to work.
The Peggy Sue gate had been the front entrance for the Yermo Annex for decades, but that changed because of security measures enacted nationwide after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, against the World Trade Center in New York City.
Following 9-11 the gate was still used for brief periods at the beginning and end of each work day. "The Peggy Sue gate had been used for rush hour traffic," Atkinson clarified, "from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning and 3:30 to 4:30 in the afternoons."
Atkinson said Marine Corps Order 5530.14A, Ch. 5003, requires that each Marine Corps installation establish Entrance Control Facilities to allow for a separate entrance for commercial vehicles so they could be searched for contraband such as explosives, weapons, and drugs.
Until recent staffing boosts, the MCPD was unable to establish those separate ECFs for the Yermo Annex, but had set them up for the Nebo side of MCLB Barstow.
Atkinson said establishing separate entrances for commercial and POVs would make the base safer and more secure with dedicated ECFs.
"There'll be less interaction between private vehicles and commercial vehicles; therefore, if a fire, spill, or explosion were to occur, there'd be less collateral damage than you would have with combined traffic."