Personnel scanners provide added level of security in Afghanistan

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — It took the com­bined resources of Army, Air Force, con­trac­tors and civil­ian air assets to move a per­son­nel scan­ner into place at an entry con­trol point here Dec. 31.

 Maj. Nicole Willis, Program Manager Guardian liaison officer, demonstrates how personnel will use the scanner emplaced near an entry control point on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 31, 2011.
Maj. Nicole Willis, Pro­gram Man­ag­er Guardian liai­son offi­cer, demon­strates how per­son­nel will use the scan­ner emplaced near an entry con­trol point on Bagram Air­field, Afghanistan, Dec. 31, 2011.
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The scan­ner is a Prod­uct Man­ag­er Force Pro­tec­tion Sys­tems item that is man­aged in the­ater by the Pro­gram Manger Guardian liai­son offi­cer and PM FPS

Pro­gram man­agers and prod­uct man­agers sup­port­ing Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom bring materiel solu­tions to sup­port war fight­er require­ments that have been val­i­dat­ed by U.S. Forces Afghanistan. They are in the­ater under the author­i­ty of Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of the Army for Acqui­si­tions, Logis­tics and Tech­nol­o­gy, known as ASA(ALT), and sup­port­ed by 401st Army Field Sup­port Brigade, which lever­ages the materiel enter­prise to field, sus­tain and redis­trib­ute equipment. 

Falling under Army Sus­tain­ment Com­mand, Army Materiel Command’s oper­a­tional arm, the 401st is AMC’s sin­gle face to the field. 

The scan­ner was emplaced at an entry con­trol point heav­i­ly used by Afghan civil­ians requir­ing access to a coali­tion run hos­pi­tal. Sev­er­al hun­dred per­sons enter the con­trol point every day. Before hav­ing the per­son­nel scan­ner, each per­son was sub­ject­ed to a phys­i­cal pat-down as part of the entry process. Now they will step into a scan­ner sim­i­lar to those used in airports. 

“The scan­ner will reduce per­son­nel pat-downs, pro­vide a bet­ter secu­ri­ty pos­ture and move per­son­nel through the [entry con­trol] process faster,” said Maj. Nicole Willis, Pro­gram Man­ag­er Guardian liai­son offi­cer. “It pro­vides an extra lay­er of secu­ri­ty and will be safer for everyone.” 

“The [coali­tion run] hos­pi­tal is a huge COIN (Counter Insur­gency) effort,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael J. Larsen, a secu­ri­ty forces air­man with the 175th Wing, Mary­land Air Nation­al Guard assigned to 455th Expe­di­tionary Secu­ri­ty Forces Squadron .“The scan­ner will be a 10-fold improve­ment that pro­vides a less intru­sive X‑ray scan, a more thor­ough search and increas­es our stand-off dis­tance. It’s a huge asset.” 

Willis said it took about six weeks to com­plete the mission. 

“The plan­ning was pret­ty quick,” she said. 

The exe­cu­tion need­ed more coor­di­na­tion due to the num­ber of groups involved such as coor­di­nat­ing for a civil­ian heli­copter to use a mil­i­tary sling sys­tem Willis said. 

Once the scan­ner was emplaced, it was esti­mat­ed that it would be up and run­ning in about two hours. A gen­er­a­tor and fenc­ing were installed by con­trac­tors and Air Force secu­ri­ty personnel. 

U.S. Army 

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