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Barrier Busters jeopardize success

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The 28th Security Forces squadron is asking all members of the Ellsworth team to stop bypassing street barriers during wing exercises and entering into the play area.

The barriers are set up to create an area for 28th Bomb Wing Airmen to practice their war-fighting skills. Individuals and vehicles who break through these barriers are a concern for two reasons.

"We have ground forces with weapons firing blank ammunition all throughout the area cited," said Master Sgt. Katherine Proffit, 28 SFS Exercise Evaluation Team chief. "The Defense Force is trained to defend the sector perimeter and defeat any potential threat heading its way. It could be very distressing to an individual if they get caught inside an ambush scenario. Also, when people enter into the area it disrupts the exercise environment because we have to pause the exercise to deal with the real-world situation."

The barriers blocking the area are yellow colored and block both lanes of the street. To get through them, individuals are either pushing through them with their vehicles or walking around them. Many are entering into the area either to fish the lakes or to run along the outdoor track, which is closed during the exercises.

"We understand it is an inconvenience, but the area is closed only for a few days during the exercises. We ask for everyone's cooperation, because [the upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection] is extremely important to the base," she said.

The play area of most concern is around Bandit and Heritage Lakes and the roads blocked off there are Bergstrom, Spaatz and Twining Streets. The area and running track are off limits from Sept. 16 at 12:01 a.m. until Sept. 17 at 11:59 p.m. The area will once again be off-limits during the Operational Readiness Inspection, Oct. 14 at 12:01 a.m. until Oct. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

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