Robins Air Force Base opens new commercial vehicle search area

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  • By Robins Public Affairs
  • Robins Public Affairs

Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, leaders cut the ribbon for the installation’s new commercial vehicle search area Jan. 28, 2022.

According to Robins Installation and 78th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Lindsay Droz, the $98 million dollar project at Gate 7 will increase vehicle throughput, reduce the amount of traffic overflowing onto Georgia Highway 247 just outside the installation, and lower the risk of vehicle accidents.

“The addition of three long queuing lanes is going to increase throughput and couldn’t have come at a better time,” Droz said. “As the base begins its large-scale mission transformation, it comes with multiple large in-scope military construction projects. That’s going to bring many, many commercial vehicles onto the installation.”

In May 2021, the Air Force announced Robins would be receiving several new missions as the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft begin to enter retirement. According to Droz, the commercial vehicle search area is ready to expand to accommodate the increase in vehicles coming to the base for construction projects to meet the demands of the increasing mission sets.

“The facility is constructed in a way that will allow for expansion if needed,” she said. “These queuing lanes are going to reduce the amount of traffic overflowing onto Highway 247. They are going to lower the risk of vehicle accidents and simply make us a better community partner.”

The facility came about through a partnership between the 78th Civil Engineer Group, 78th Security Forces Squadron and the Army Corp of Engineers. They broke ground on the project October 2020 after years of planning on how to improve the search area.

While enhancing the security of the base, the facility was also built with safety and comfort in mind, for both the drivers and security forces, including K-9s.

“The facility is a welcome addition and will provide appropriate office space to process drivers and crews,” Droz said. “It will reduce the amount of time it takes our commercial partners to get onto the installation and provide shelter and break areas for our Defenders – both two-legged and four-legged.”

On hand for the ribbon cutting alongside Droz were Chief Master Sgt. Carlos Labrador, Robins Installation and 78th Air Base Wing command chief; Chief Master Sgt. Paul Pohnert, 78th Mission Support Group senior enlisted leader; Maj. Kenneth Canty II, 78th SFS commander; and Lou Lilley, 78th CEG director.

The commercial vehicle search area is located at Gate 7 between Russell Parkway and MLK Jr. Boulevard off Georgia Highway 247. It will be open Jan. 31 and will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.