February 15, 1977: Edwards Air Force Base Became a Controlled-Access Base

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  • Air Force Flight Test Center

Edwards Air Force Base became a controlled-access base. Three entry control points were established on the main thoroughfares entering the base, and access was restricted to persons working or conducting business on the base.

Edwards had long been one of the most open bases in all of the Air Force. Public traffic was permitted to travel across the base at all times.  All of this came to an end on February 15, 1977. On that date, three entry control points were established on the main thoroughfares entering the base.  Henceforth, access to the base would be restricted to those working or conducting business on base.  There were a large number of reasons for this new policy. Controlled access would provide: Increased protection of vital research and development resources, positive identification and a record of all base visitors, confirmation of any visitors valid requirement to enter the
installation, improved control of explosive-laden vehicles, improved random vehicle inspection to control the introduction of contraband or recover stolen property, immediate capability to seal off avenues of escape following the commission of felonies on base, reduction of potential for sabotage and espionage, improved compliance with the base's vehicle registration program.  Implementation of the new policy produced very positive results. A preliminary study conducted seven months after it went into effect indicated that there had been a substantial downward trend in crime rate on base during that period.


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