20th SFS deployments, traffic study lead to Polifka Gate closure

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Shaw’s Polifka Gate will close Dec. 23 at 6 p.m.

The decision to close the gate was made due to several factors, said Capt. Alexander Price, 20th Security Forces Squadron operations officer, but was primarily driven by the increased 20th SFS deployment tempo.

A traffic study, conducted by the South Carolina Department of Transportation, determined that less than two cars per minute enter the installation through the Polifka Gate. Each of the other four gates average between five to eight cars per minute, said Capt. Price. Because the Polifka Gate experiences less traffic than other gates, closing it also reduces the number of people needed at the gates. Staffing the Polifka Gate requires 24 man-hours per day, said Capt. Price.

Man-hours are vital as a result of the high numbers of deployed security forces squadron members, said Capt. Price.

“Due to the increased level of deployments and associated training in support of the Global War on Terror, it’s necessary to carefully evaluate the most efficient and effective use of our home station security forces. Although we regret the need to curtail services to the public, it is necessary to maintain robust patrol coverage and maintain other essential police services to Team Shaw,” said Maj. Phillip Suydam, 20th SFS commander.