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Ruiz Gate open for inbound, outbound traffic

Airman 1st Class Christopher Anderson, 66th Security Forces Squadron entry control patrolman, scans an identification card at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., April 16. Entry controllers are using a hands-off method to check IDs to reduce the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)

The Ruiz Gate (formally Hartwell Gate) will reopen for outbound and inbound traffic beginning Aug. 24 from 6 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Officials from the 66th Security Forces Squadron announced the Ruiz Gate (formerly Hartwell Gate) will open during select hours beginning Aug. 24.

The gate will be open Monday through Friday from 6 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. for both inbound and outbound traffic.

“In the midst of overcoming challenges with the pandemic, our defenders have kept their focus on expanding what we could to support our community,” said Maj. Shane Watts, 66 SFS commander. “We are committed to doing our part to relieve constraints when and where we can. I’m grateful that we’re finally in a position to offer more relief for the community and I’m proud of my team.”

The Sartain Gate (formerly Vandenberg Gate) will remain open 24 hours to facilitate the Visitor Control Center and commercial vehicle search area, said Watts.

The decision to temporarily open the Ruiz Gate was based on traffic patterns closely monitored by Hanscom defenders, said Master Sgt. Angelina Simms, 66 SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of Defense Force Operations Support.

“Our defenders are working hard to ensure we not only protect our installation and community, but that we have the details to make informed decisions,” she said.

Watts said his team will continue to monitor traffic patterns in the coming weeks before considering further openings.

“We’ll stay focused on what the data tells us and adjust to support our mission partners, community and leaders where we can,” he said.

Officials said this decision is not meant for more employees to return to the installation. Those who have been successfully teleworking should continue to do so. Employees should only return to work on the installation when they are formally notified by a supervisor.