The Pit: Securing Vandenberg during the Holidays
By Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo and Airman Ryan Quijas, SLD 30 PA
/ Published December 09, 2021
VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The top priority of the Space Launch Delta 30th Security Forces Squadron working the Lompoc gate search pit is to provide security to Vandenberg Space Force Base year-round.
The Lompoc gate becomes a highly trafficked area for commercial visitors delivering packages and goods on base during the holidays.
“During the holidays, the Lompoc gate becomes a busy gate for those who drive commercial vehicles but also for those that drive RVs on base,” said Airman 1st Class Elijah Basil, 30th SFS response force leader. “Our job is to inspect every commercial vehicle, check their authorization to enter the base and ensure the security of the base.”
The airmen working the pit can search any compartment of the vehicle, including the bed or trailer, the main cabin, and undercarriage. In order to check underneath and on top of trucks, airmen utilize mirrors on top of the covering that vehicles drive up to and stop underneath, along with an angled handheld mirror used to skim the underside. Military working dogs also aid in the search process, to keep VSFB safe.
On Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, the Lompoc gate will be open during designated hours, and will be handing out passes for those trying to gain base access with an approved sponsor. Even with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the 30th SFS always remains thorough and vigilant.