The building of checkpoint gates at Fort Indiantown Gap is scheduled to begin in mid- to late July, with construction of protective fencing to start later.
That’s the latest word on the long-planned security project from Brad Rhen, deputy state public affairs officer of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
The active military base covers about 33 square miles, the vast majority of which is in Lebanon County, with the remainder in Dauphin County.
David Weisnicht, deputy base operations manager, has said The Gap is the busiest and most utilized National Guard training installation in the country, with 150,000 troops receiving training there in 2019.
Two main gates will be erected but their construction will not begin at the same time. However, there will likely be some overlap, Rhen said in an email to LebTown.
“Eventually, a perimeter fence will be built around Fort Indiantown Gap’s cantonment area, but construction on that will not begin until after construction begins on the gates,” he wrote.
A February 2020 LebTown article reported that one of the gates will be built on the southwest side of the base near Interstate 81 and north of Biddle Drive, while the other gate will be on the east end of the post, west of Quartermaster Road.
“The gates will essentially be checkpoints, and will be manned by soldiers who will check identification for anyone coming onto the post,” the article said.
A military spokesman in that story that there will be processes for the public to gain access. Details were still being worked out, but it’s expected to be similar to what’s involved at other U.S. military bases.
He noted that Fort Indiantown Gap is the only U.S. military installation that remains unprotected by a perimeter wall or fencing, and that the plan to secure it has been in the works for at least five years. What makes this challenging is the state roads that go through it.
The story from last year reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had handed over parts of Routes 934 and 443 to the base.
The Gap is the headquarters of the Pennsylvania National Guard, one of the largest and most deployed state National Guards in the country, according to its website.
Since 9/11, the Pennsylvania National Guard has deployed worldwide more than 35,000 times, with some members serving three or four tours in Europe, Africa and Asia and in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Poland.
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