Installations increase security after U.S. attacks

Monday, October 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Airports and military bases across the state have beefed up security now that the United States has launched military strikes on Afghanistan.

Plastic, water-filled barriers were placed at entrances to Tinker Air Force Base Sunday, after the U.S. attack was announced.

Vehicles must weave around the barriers before reaching the entrance. This limits the chance that a vehicle could be used to crash a gate, said Air Force Lt. Col. Dave Thurston.

``These are as effective as concrete and we will continue to have them in place for the foreseeable future,'' he said.

Thurston said identification of those coming on base will continue to be checked, and because of the addition of the barriers, those going into and out of the base can expect delays. Employees were urged to carpool.

Gwen Brewer, a spokeswoman for Altus Air Force Base, said the base had gone to a higher level of security, but she declined to say what additional steps were taken.

Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City has added five police officers to each of its three daily shifts, bringing the number of police personnel at the airport to 45, or 15 per shift.

Since Friday, 55 National Guard soldiers have been on duty at Will Rogers and airports in Tulsa, Enid, Lawton and Ponca City.

Tulsa International Airport was at its highest level of security since Desert Storm in 1991, said airport director Brent Kitchen.

All vehicles entering the airfield, such as refueling trucks and baggage trucks, are being searched and police patrols have been increased.

``With all of the heightened security, I figure one of the more secure places you can be is an airport,'' Justin Phillips said after arriving in Tulsa following a flight from Dallas.