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Kings Bay confident in security system
ST. MARYS -- A report by the Department of Defense expresses concern about security at Navy bases throughout the nation, but officials at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay believe their security is adequate.

Submarine Base Kings Bay public affairs officer Scott Bassett said he can't discuss specific security procedures and requirements, but he said Kings Bay has not increased security in the wake of a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, which prompted the Defense Department's report.

The shooter killed 12 people before he was shot and killed by police Sept. 18.

"With the event that happened in the Navy Yard, we have not increased our defense posture," Bassett said. "Our security is very vigilant."

All visitors, sailors, contractors and civilian employees at Kings Bay must stop at a guard shack and show identification proving they are authorized to be on base before they are allowed to enter. Security also conducts random searches of vehicles before they are allowed on base.

Kings Bay has security checkpoints that increase in vigilance as vehicles get closer to the waterfront where Ohio-class submarines are ported while the boats are resupplied and repairs are made.

"There are several levels and layers of security on base," he said.

The Defense Department's report questions the contractor, RapidGate, which provides security and conducts background checks on contractors at the Washington Navy Yard. The report found procedures were not followed to conduct required background checks at seven of the 10 installations studied.

The report did not say which bases were visited, but Kings Bay uses the same system in question.

Getting an unauthorized person on base and through security appears to be doable. Last week, a Kings Bay sailor was arrested after he was accused of hiding a 13-year-old girl under a blanket in his car. He took her onto the base and past security.

"We take any criminal activity by any employee on base very seriously," Bassett said.

The report recommends Navy installations discontinue the RapidGate system and other systems that use public databases for background checks for contractors.

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at gjackson@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 464-7655.



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