U.S. military campaign brings few security changes in Alaska

Posted: Monday, October 08, 2001

Few new visible security measures are expected at Alaska airports and public safety agencies following the military strikes in Afghanistan.

Public safety officials said they put staff and operations on a higher level of alert Sunday, but most measures needed already were in place.

"We are still at the same level of security we have been at," said Juneau Airport spokeswoman Patty de La Bruere said this morning. "We have not received any changes or mandates from the FAA."

The airport reopened its front curb to vehicles Friday, allowing drivers to load and unload passengers and baggage. The airport also allowed taxis to operate in the short-term parking lot. In both cases, drivers must stay with their vehicles, de La Bruere said.

Airport officials also announced plans to increase cutting of brush and other maintenance of the trail between the floatplane basin and the Mendenhall Wetlands, saying it should be considered primarily an emergency access road.

Statewide, the Coast Guard told its regional commanders to make sure security was at the right level after the FBI urged law enforcement agencies to move to highest alert. Lt. Chris Ahearn, spokesman for the Coast Guard in Juneau, declined to be specific.

"We have reviewed our security measures and made some adjustments," he said.

The Alaska State Troopers made no major adjustments because much of the increased security was implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks, said spokesman Greg Wilkinson. Posts were told Sunday to keep an extra eye out for suspicious activity at airports and along the trans-Alaska pipeline, he said.

"It is just business as usual with a higher level of alertness," Wilkinson said.



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