The 174th Attack Wing Celebrates Opening of New Main Gate

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Barbara Olney
  • 174th Attack Wing

New York Air National Guard Airmen stationed at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base held an installation entry control point (main gate) grand opening ceremony Dec. 14, 2023.

The new $4.5 million main gate will benefit the uniformed service members and civilians working on Hancock Field. The renovations made will not only enhance security but will also be more efficient and more welcoming for service members, families, and civilian personnel.

“Today marks a significant milestone at Hancock’s 81 years of existence as we celebrate the grand re-opening of the main installation control point,” said Capt. Devin Will, 174th Security Forces Squadron commander.

In 2015, the 174th Attack Wing initiated a traffic study with the Military Surface Deployment Distribution Command. The purpose of the traffic study was to look at the quantity of traffic coming onto and off the base. The study was finalized in 2017.

The report provided suggestions for a better flow of traffic, while also addressing force protection and anti-terrorism concerns.

“This new main gate is our central installation access point and provides a safe, secure, and professional entrance to our installation,” said Col. John R. O’Connor, 174th Attack Wing commander.

The new gate is designed to provide enhanced protection for Security Forces personnel posted at the gate while also allowing the proper amount of time and distance to the Active Vehicle Barrier to stop any hostile threats.

In addition, with two vehicle lanes and a third designated contractor lane which allows for a higher flow of traffic during busier commuting times, the efficiency of processing vehicles entering the installation has been greatly improved.

The secure contractor lane will enable Security Forces to conduct the required vehicle inspections for commercial vehicles entering the installation.

Former 174th Attack Wing commander Col. Michael Smith started the planning for the new gate in 2018 and the design was finalized in July of 2021.
“I am proud of the effort that went into designing and executing this project; it took over 10 years of effort by many members of this Wing, past and present, to make it happen, but it was worth the wait,” said O’Connor.

“This is more than just a point of entry,” said Will. “It stands as a symbol of strength, resilience, and an unwavering spirit of our armed forces.”