BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The Battle Creek Air National Guard held a groundbreaking Friday for a new entrance and main gate.

Federal funding of $10 million was secured for the project in the National Defense Authorization Act. The main entrance will move from Dickman Road to Skyline Drive on the west side of the base. The base commander says the move is necessary for both safety and securing the base.  

“We require a larger standoff distance and that’s what this new installation is going to do,” said Colonel Daniel Kramer, Commander in the 110th Wing at the base.

He said the new gate will move further from civilians who may be “nefarious actors” who want to breach the base.

“This new gate gives you a large standoff distance that meets the requirement and our airmen are safe,” said Kramer. “They come to a safe environment, they’re not going to get in to a car accident and they know that when they’re on this installation they’re protected.”

The project will include a new guard house, a covered vehicle inspection area and new pavement reconnecting Dickman and Skyline Roads after the portion of Skyline road that runs to this new entrance was closed by the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2014.