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  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colin Hollowell
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Just in time for the holidays, Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th Bomb Wing commander, cut the ceremonial red ribbon to mark the reopening of the Visitor Control Center at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Dec. 16, 2021.

These renovations enhanced a number of functional and security improvements to the installation’s main gate, including several additions to the center’s customer support capabilities and comfortable upgrades for the security forces Airmen who utilize the facility.

“This Visitors Center is a keynote in both community relations and the defense of the installation; America’s lift and strike base,” said Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “And more importantly, beyond the gate of the premiere long-range strike capability, are the most essential element, our people.”

The funding for the renovations was acquired by the Abilene Military Affairs Committee, which secured over $1 million in grants for the project.

“The total cost of the VCC was funded through the City of Abilene and the State of Texas, and this is the second time that the great City of Abilene has supported Dyess with a new VCC,” said Maj. Scott Hlavin, 7th Security Forces Squadron commander. “The genesis of this new project was crucial to support the increased mission sets operating out of Dyess and to prepare for future mission sets. The new VCC represents the ironclad partnership the City of Abilene has with Dyess.”

The VCC is responsible for authenticating an individual’s identity, vetting and determining their fitness prior to authorizing access to the installation.

“The newly renovated VCC is nearly triple the size of the original,” said Hlavin. “This added space will increase our ability to process visitors while bolstering our customer service capability for Team Dyess; this increase in size also provides additional stand-off distance which enhances the security to both the installation and the defenders who protect it.”

During the time of renovation, the VCC was collocated at the Dyess museum to enable security forces members to continue their mission of vectoring base visitors.

“This facility represents what the Black Crosses are all about; Professional, lethal, and ready,” said Hlavin. “It is a world-class facility that demonstrates our focus on security and supporting Team Dyess for us to continue to be not only the Nation’s only Lift and Strike base…but also the standard all installations strive to be.”