System provides 24/7 perimeter security

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Motion detection, night-vision cameras and sensor zones may bring an action movie to mind, but they are also a few of the pieces that make up a Tactical Automated Security System.

TASS is an intrusion detection system used to protect the perimeter and resources at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.

"TASS uses different technologies and equipment to collectively secure the base," said Mike Tabbara, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron resident field engineer and Dallas native. "The system is deployed all over the area of responsibility."

Tabbara explained that the system is used for contingencies because of its ease of use without any outside support.

"It's self-dependent - you can literally set up a sensor zone and have no power coming into it and no communication infrastructure for it because the system works on a radio frequency link and it gets power from the solar panel and battery," he said.

The system acts as an enemy deterrent by providing eyes on the base perimeter at all times.

"If someone breaks, bypasses or shakes a part of the system, a communication module will let an operator know that someone came through," said Staff Sgt. Gary Chitwood, 380 ESFS TASS administrator. "The cameras will automatically look to where the sensor was triggered; he'll see that on the screen and dispatch the patrols. Then the individual will be apprehended."

Not only does the system protect the perimeter, it also protects 380 AEW assets.

"TASS is able to secure locations that would require personnel 24/7," Tabbara said.

"We know through Air Force Instructions what needs to be secured and the security level we need to have on it," Chitwood added. "So we make sure we have every protection-level resource covered by what the Air Force requires."

The ability of TASS to monitor these resources and its ability to run on 50 percent solar power here saves the Air Force countless dollars and man-hours.

"It's mandated that if there wasn't TASS, security forces would have to walk and patrol the perimeter of the base," Tabbara explained. "TASS assists security forces patrols by allowing them to focus on the more vulnerable locations."

More than 40 cameras, more than 170 sensor zones and night vision cameras that can see up to 3.1 miles are just a few pieces that make up TASS. The system helps detect intruders before they can compromise the mission.

"TASS is a proactive system," Tabbara said. "As soon as someone intrudes the alarm, we are immediately aware of it and we dispatch, so we're no longer waiting for the guy to be inside the base and then for someone to notice him."