Decals ease bottleneck at main gate at Quantico

QUANTICO — Residents should find traveling through the Quantico Marine Corps base’s front gate much easier thanks to a new decal program.

“We wanted to be proactive,” said Col. John Flanagan, commanding officer of Security Battalion for the Quantico base. “We want to be good neighbors and good friends to the town of Quantico.”

To that end, the Marine Corps has created new Quantico vehicle decals and given them to town officials.

“We are issuing these decals so the residents can come aboard the base in a quick and efficient manner,” Flanagan said.

Quantico Marine Corps base security increased following the terrorist attacks.

All vehicles without Department of Defense decals are stopped at the front gate by the base military police. The drivers are asked for identification and destination.

Since many of Quantico’s 500 residents are not in the military and do not have the decals, they are being stopped each time they reach the gate.

The town is bordered on three sides by the base and on the fourth by the Potomac River; its residents must travel through the base to get to and from their homes.

The new Quantico town decals are similar in appearance to the military decals, and like the military decals are to be place in the top center of a vehicle’s windshield. This will make it easier for the guards to identify town residents.

“This way we can just wave them through [the gate,]” Flanagan said.

Even with the new decals, however, all vehicles entering the base are subject to periodical and random stops, Flanagan said.

“The town of Quantico is very pleased with the Marine Corps’ efforts. They are reaching out a hand to us and we appreciate it,” said Quantico town Treasurer Pete Chavana.

Chavana is responsible for distributing the new decals.

“No one is going to get a decal until they go through the [identification process] with me,” Chavana said. “These are only for town residents, not for business owners or people who work in the town.”

Vehicle registration and proof of residency needs to be shown to Chavana before he will hand out the free decals.

The Marine Corps has given the town 220 decals to start the program and Chavana has been handing them out.

Chavana said Friday that he would be sending all residents a letter informing them of the new program.

“The program is working out pretty well,” Flanagan said. “The town is happy with it and we’re happy with it.”

Staff writer Aileen Streng can be reached at (703) 878-8010.

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