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Chavez Gate Construction

An Airman, with the 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, checks an ID May 2nd, at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. One of the duties while working the gate involves checking the ID of everyone who wants on base. (U.S. Air Force Photo by A1C Gage Adison Daniel/Released)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N. M. -- The 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, is currently in the process of installing a new gate at the East entrance of Chavez Manor.

The gate is the final stage of upgrading Chavez Manor, and the construction falls under a Secretary of Defense initiative to better protect off-base facilities following the recruiting office shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Previously, the 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron had been working out of a four-by-four wooden structure.

“What they were working out of didn’t have anything in it except for an air conditioner,” said Mr. Manuel Vasquez, the SABER project manager.

The new gate will provide the 27th SOSFS with a complete facility with many new features.

“The new gate will have a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, have a server for upgraded communication, a microwave, a bathroom and an overhang to protect them from the elements” said Tech. Sergeant Gregory Fortenberry, the contracting officer.

The gate will also include several new anti-terrorism force protection features such as an upgraded shell, bullet-proof features and concrete walls that will allow the 27th SOSFS to improve their defensive posture at Chavez Manor.

“We are building a new gate to provide the 27th SOSFS with a better infrastructure and force protection condition protection for the personnel posted at Chavez gate,” Fortenberry said.

The walls will be concrete encased and the building will have a steel frame that makes it more blast resistant. This will bring the structure up to standards identified in the Department of Defense's unified facilities code, which all buildings must meet.

“The base has been planning this for years,” Fortenberry said. “The previous gate was efficient but didn't provide the 27th SOSFS the protection they need. It is being built to help protect our defenders and help secure our installation.”