Traffic, always a problem for those trying to get onto and off of MacDill Air Force Base, has been even worse than usual of late.
And it’s not because 1,500 civilian employees who had four unexpected, unpaid days off last week thanks to the government shutdown have returned to work.
The base instituted new entry security procedures, requiring everyone to be checked for identification, whether they are the driver or a passenger. “People who work on MacDill Air Force Base, as well as our community partners, have experienced significant delays when entering the base during the peak morning rush hour during the past week,” Air Force Master Sgt. Bryan Gatewood, a spokesman for the 6th Air Mobility Wing, wrote in an email to The Tampa Tribune. “These delays are attributable to the fact that we are currently transitioning the base to a more secure entry and clearance system.”
Gatewood did not immediately say why the new security rules were instituted, However, the base is at the lowest alert level, known as Force Protection Condition Alpha.
“The safety and security of our personnel and installation is our first priority,” he wrote. “At the same time, we understand and acknowledge the difficulties that our employees and local residents face with the significant gate delays. We are actively working to mitigate this issue, and expect delays to reduce within the next week.”