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Frequently Asked Questions about Fort Sill's gate access policy:

What drove the upcoming changes to security measures for those accessing post? Is there a threat to Fort Sill?

The changes come as a result of assessments made by Maj. Gen. John Rossi since taking command this summer and are consistent with expectations from senior Defense Department leaders to provide robust background vetting and access control to installations worldwide. There are no specific threats to Fort Sill at this time. The increase of vetting is driven by a prudent approach to force protection. We are simply doing what other DoD installations in the area (Tinker AFB, Sheppard AFB, and Altus AFB for example) have already been doing for years.

What type of identification will be accepted?

All DoD-issued identification currently in use will still work. That includes active duty DoD, Retired DoD and family member DoD identification currently in use. The Common Access Card identification produced by the DoD will also be accepted.

What if I don’t have DoD-issued identification?

Garrison leaders have developed means of expediting background checks and issuing identification to visitors/contractors. A Fort Sill form will be available no later than the beginning of the new year through the public Fort Sill website that can be filled out and submitted digitally to the Visitor Control Center that will stand up in the coming weeks. Submitting this form ahead of time will allow the Visitor Control Center to pre-screen visitors and to rapidly issue alternate identification that will allow access to the installation for an extended period of time.

What will I need to do just to go to the museum, bowling alley, Patriot Club, etc.?

By as early as February of next year, everyone will need to have either DoD-issued or Fort Sill-issued identification. Those without either of these will need to go to the soon-to-be-established Visitor’s Control Center at Sheridan Road’s Bentley Gate. It will be outside the gate but inside the perimeter fence.

Will Fort Sill continue to have events open to the public? How will access be granted in these cases?

Fort Sill is committed to continuing the quality events that are open to the community that it conducts every year. Separate provisions for access will be made for these events and will be published well ahead of the events.

Are you trying to keep the public out of Fort Sill?

Absolutely not. Lawton and Fort Sill are one community with more than 100 years of friendship and tradition that will continue to grow. It’s unfortunate that these times include security threats to our military installations around the world. Fort Sill is working to strike that fine balance between protecting the soldiers, families and employees on post with the public access our surrounding community partners have always enjoyed.

How will this affect graduations? Do you expect every family member to get some kind of identification?

While exceptions will be made for large scale special events such as concerts and larger sporting events, graduations will likely require that the same vetting procedures are followed for adult family members attending. The Air Force routinely holds basic military training graduation on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland that adheres to standard base access procedures and is well-attended. Having family members make prior coordination on-line with the Fort Sill Visitor Control Center will be key to minimizing delays for visiting families without DoD-issued identification.

Will this mean a return to DoD decals or stickers for soldier/DoD employee vehicles?

Not likely. Some Army installations with controlled access procedures continue to use these, most of which have done so since prior to 2001. With the access requirements currently in place, their ability to expedite entry at gates is more limited than before 2001 and may no longer prove cost-effective.

Why is the Visitor Control Center being put at the Bentley (Sheridan Road) Gate?

The Bentley Gate entry made sense. Traffic flow patterns near the I-44 off ramps did not lend themselves to safely managing visitor traffic near Key Gate. While it may not be the closest to I-44, Bentley Gate’s long entry lanes and room to accommodate a continuously operated Visitor Control Center resulted in its selection. Fort Sill is currently working with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to erect highway directional and informational signs that will lead visitors to Bentley Gate.

 

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