JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO--RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
The air show is here, and with it, thousands of visitors will soon be on Randolph Air Force Base.
The 2011 Randolph AFB Airshow is projected to have 150,000 people in attendance each day.
Security is a main priority on a daily basis, so to accommodate the masses at an event as large as the air show, Randolph has brought in backup.
In addition to Randolph's everyday security forces Airmen, military working dogs and surveillance cameras, 42 trained augmentees will be at work--helping to keep everything running smoothly and orderly, Robert Vickers, 902nd Security Forces Squadron Plans and Programs Branch chief and 2011 Airshow primary security operations coordinator, said.
Saturday and Sunday, the East Gate, Stable Gate and South Gate will open for public entry, bringing visitors directly to the public parking area. From there, all will be shuttled to the air show grounds. Department of Defense ID cardholders will still be able to access the base through the main gate; however, even cardholders entering through the visitor's gates will be bussed.
"Any time you try to fit 150,000 people into a small, confined space, you're going to have traffic problems--no different than parking at a sporting event," Vickers said. "There are going to be some backups, so we ask everyone to be patient. Those with ID cards are urged to go through the main gate to help alleviate some of the congestion."
Items allowed on base include chairs, blankets, diaper bags and camera bags. All items brought to the gate will be searched by the augmentees posted at the entrances.
Items such as backpacks, coolers, pets, weapons and drugs are prohibited.
All vendors will be inspected and given a thorough background check prior to showtime.
Upon entry, parents will be given the option to place wristbands on their children. Parent names and cellphone numbers may be written on the wristbands in case of separation.
There will be a "Mini-Taj" on the air show grounds that will act as a reporting station for lost children and general information.
Augmentees will also be in place at every flightline gate.
"You won't be able to leave the flightline through the flightline gate without an identification card or being escorted by somebody who has an ID card," Vickers said.
In the case of an emergency, Vickers urges everyone to remain calm and follow the directions of the security, medical or fire services officials.
"We are ready for the air show, helping to ensure everyone has a fun and safe time," he said. "Just cooperate with the security officials and there will be nothing to worry about."