Since DOD raised the force protection level at U.S. installations on Friday, visitors to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have been forced to comply with more stringent security procedures, while local businesses remain anxious about a potential decline in customer traffic.
Workers at the base, located outside of Dayton, Ohio, have largely been unaffected by Northern Command’s decision to raise the force protection level at DOD facilities from Alpha to Bravo, reported Dayton Daily News.
The new protocols — which require visitors to obtain a base-issued pass — have prompted a handful of changes at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The museum cancelled bus tours from the main complex to hangars on base that house historic presidential and unique research aircraft. It also suspended “behind-the-scenes” tours of airplanes under restoration. The main complex attracts more than a million visitors a year.
A charity golf event to be held at the installation was cancelled because golfers did not have the required security passes.
The general manager of an Italian restaurant in downtown Fairborn, located near the installation’s gate, told the paper she feared tighter security would cut into the number of customers at lunchtime.
“Almost any time something happens with the base it affects our lunch,” said Cassaundra Spaziani.
Paul Newman Sr., outgoing executive director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, however, said it’s too early to determine the ultimate impact of the changes on local business.