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Lockdown scheduled at Kirtland AFB on Friday

Kirtland Air Force Base (Joe Mabel/WikiCommons)

Kirtland Air Force Base will be under its most extensive lockdown in years on Friday as part of a large-scale security exercise.

Installation commander Col. David Miller said the lockdown will occur in the morning-early afternoon hours. He asked for patience from military and civilian personnel and contractors affected by the exercise.

“We’re giving it a window for three or four hours,” he said. “We’ll be allowing outbound traffic, but not inbound traffic. It’s not going to take the full four hours. But we are going to be shut down for one to two hours to support the exercise on base.”

He encouraged military and civilian personnel with business on base to arrive early, or plan to arrive later than they normally do.

“From 9 (a.m.) to 1 (1 p.m.) is not the time to be waiting to get on base,” he told mission partners last week.

The 377th Air Base Wing and Kirtland Air Force Base are participating in an exercise called Global Thunder 20 that is being conducted by Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska. Kirtland’s part of the exercise will continue through Oct. 30.

“This looks at security,” Miller said. “We’re going to learn some things out of this exercise that will inform what we need to do for installation security.”

Many facilities on base will test increased security measures, the Air Force said in a news release.

Starting Thursday afternoon, people can expect to see unfamiliar traffic patterns, restriction of access to parking lots and a continuation of the increased security measures that will continue into Friday.

On Friday, the 377th Air Base Wing will conduct an exercise response to a security incident occurring on the east side of the base, which will put the base into lockdown and may impact inbound gate access along with limited traffic on base. People on and off the installation may hear simulated gunfire as well as observe an increased presence of emergency vehicles.

Any projected deliveries on Thursday or Friday may be delayed. Customer service facilities will have intermittent impacts on Thursday and no availability on Friday, the Air Force said.


© 2019 the Albuquerque Journal