FORT LEONARD WOOD, Missouri- Officials say operating hours are changing for Fort Leonard Wood’s East Gate beginning Oct. 1 and will be reassessed after three months.
New times will be 5 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and closed on weekends.
The North, South and West gates will remain open 24/7.
The U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Emergency Services, which is responsible for operation of the post’s four main entry-control points, said there were several factors responsible for the decision to reduce the East Gate hours.
“Highest among those factors is the inactivation of the 92nd Military Police Battalion and limitations on the authorized number of Department of the Army security guards,” according to Don Rose, DES deputy director.
The 92nd MP Bn. had provided more than 30 Soldiers for daily gate-access duties, which allowed for expanded hours of operation at all the gates. No military manpower is authorized for the DES access-control mission, Rose said.
The 92nd MP Bn. officially cased its colors during a ceremony in July.
A detailed traffic study indicated that approximately 100 vehicles entered the East Gate between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and fewer on weekends.
“We realize this is an inconvenience for those commuters who use the gate as a more convenient or direct point of access,” Rose said.
“It comes down to decreased manpower with us not having the full complement of Soldiers from the 92nd,” Rose said. “This decision will balance security needs and afford the opportunity for all of the installation gates to remain open for access during peak travel times.”
There is an average daily traffic flow of more than 15,600 vehicles, according to DES.
Rose said gate hours will be reassessed after the 90-day period and that further adjustments could be made based on mission needs.
Emergency procedures will also be in place for first responders to enter and exit the East Gate, Rose added.