Mission MCLB: Commercial Vehicle Checks Part 2

Photo Credit: Romney Smith

The first line of defense against outsiders bringing anything potentially harmful onto the Marine Corps Logistics Base is at the commercial vehicle safety check. In part one - we told you what they did, and in part two we'll show you how they're using technology and canines to enhance their techniques.

Every single commercial vehicle inspection is videotaped and Lt. Perry Mixon says it's for two main reasons, "One, it provides us feedback where we can hold training for new officers and say this is the process we do. The second purpose that it serves is as evidence, if we do have an incident that happens, it on camera it's on tape. We've got it, we can refer back to it, we follow our process and it just becomes a piece of the evidence.

At any given time there are between five and seven military officers conducting inspections. All officers can interchange jobs except for the canine handlers because they're specially trained. "The the main function for the dog is to detect explosives in the vehicle. They look for things that may be hidden that we can't see. The dog has had training and he or she knows what they're looking for by sense of smell" says Lt. Perry Mixon.

Canine handler Cpl. Tonette Gezzi says they rely heavily on the dog's sense of smell. "Humans can smell a hamburger while dogs can smell the pickle, the mayonnaise, the mustard, the seed, and more. So it is important that as a handler we pay attention to how they're responding and what they're looking at" says Gezzi.

When one of the dogs gives an "alert" that they detect something like drugs or a potential explosive - officials jump into action. "I see what she's looking at, I cease all operations then I contact the supervisor that is in charge of the commercial vehicle inspection and I inform them of the response" says Gezzi.

In addition to the dogs the Marine Corps Police are always working on new ways to keep the base safe. "Right now we're working in getting technology where we have little camera that we can stick up in crevices and stuff and see places that you normally wouldn't get with things" says Mixon.

The entire goal of the commercial vehicle safety check is to make sure that the drivers, load, and the base stay safe at all times.

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