JFTB security forces work to stop COVID-19 at the gate

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U.S. Army Cpl. Nestor Vasquez, the assistant day shift supervisor of security forces reads the temperature of a visitor stopped at the gate on May 7, 2020 at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, Calif. COVID-19 has altered security forces operations at the gate, requiring a symptom and temperature check before entering the base. (National Guard photograph by Staff Sgt. Kimberly Hill)
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JOINT FORCES TRAINING BASE LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — Security Forces Soldiers with Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos are enhancing operations and adding additional security measures in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health of personnel and visitors at JFTB Los Alamitos, Calif.

“With new restrictions and screening requirements for COVID-19 at the front gate, SECFOR has not only handled those very professionally and with courtesy, but they have also been able to keep traffic flowing into the post with minimal delays,” said California National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael J, Leeney, the JFTB Los Alamitos installation commander.

While day to day operations like ID checks, enforcing base policy, and patrolling the over 1,300 acres of the base have continued, the SECFOR Soldiers have also learned to screen for symptoms of the virus and check temperatures, said California National Guard Cpl. Nestor Vasquez, the assistant day shift supervisor with SECFOR at JFTB Los Alamitos.

U.S. Army Spec. Ricky Casas, a security forces specialist checks the temperature of a visitor driving through the gate on May 7, 2020 at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, Calif. Security forces at the gate are slowing the spread of COVID-19 by checking temperatures of all visitors and personnel prior to base entry. (National Guard photograph by Staff Sgt. Kimberly Hill)

“We ask them if they have any symptoms and if they have a fever of over 101 degrees, we have to turn them away,” said Vasquez, an Orange, Calif., native.

The 15 Soldiers with the SECFOR team are also responsible for ensuring that social distancing standards are maintained and face coverings are worn when applicable in order to protect personnel from the spread of COVID-19, said California National Guard Staff Sgt, Lance Fuller, the noncommissioned officer in charge of SECFOR at JFTB Los Alamitos.

“It’s something we all have to do out of personal responsibility for our fellow Soldiers and man,” said Fuller.

COVID-19 has seen hundreds of California National Guard Soldiers and Airmen activated to help support operations throughout the state, which has caused an increase in personnel at military bases, including JFTB Los Alamitos.

U.S. Army Spec. Ricky Casas, a security forces specialist, reads the temperature of a visitor driving through the gate on May 7, 2020 at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, Calif. (National Guard photograph by Staff Sgt. Kimberly Hill)

While increased personnel has presented new challenges to SECFOR operations, the team believes the adjustments are necessary in order to keep everyone safe and healthy, said California State Military Reserve Sgt. Marco Chavez, the day shift supervisor with SECFOR at JFTB Los Alamitos.

“I see the SECFOR as one of the most integral parts of the Health Protection measures we have enacted at JFTB,” said Leeney. “Their constant vigilance has contributed to the safety and welfare of both tenants and visitors alike during the COVID-19 crisis.
 
 
 

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