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Main Gate to open Nov. 21

Maintenance Man statue and T-38 Talon

The Maintenance Man statue and a T-38 Talon are two recognizable features greeting personnel and visitors at the newly constructed Main Gate at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 17, 2020. The more than $8 million project is the result of a multi-level partnership between federal, state and local entities. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Ingle)

Maintenance Man statue and T-38 Talon

The Maintenance Man statue and a T-38 Talon are two recognizable features greeting personnel and visitors at the newly constructed Main Gate at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 17, 2020. The more than $8 million project is the result of a multi-level partnership between federal, state and local entities. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Ingle)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – After years of planning and about 20 months of construction, the “front door” to Sheppard AFB is set to open at 7 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2020.

The reopening of the Main Gate marks the near-completion of a federal, state and local partnership effort to the installation’s primary entrance to beautify the area as well as enhance force protection and antiterrorism measures.

The opening also means a change in operations of Sheppard’s other gates. The Hospital Gate will close with the exceptions of emergencies and special events. The Missile Road Gate will be open 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and closed on weekends, holidays and Air Education and Training Command Family Days.

The Visitor’s Center on Missile Road will be open 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and closed weekends, holidays and AETC Family Days. Passes will be issued at the Main Gate when the Visitor’s Center is closed.

Three levels of cooperation and funding enabled this unique project to come to fruition. Funding included $5.7 million in federal dollars as well as a $1.5 million Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant from the state through the Texas Military Preparedness Commission. Another $1.5 million came from the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corp., which was approved by the Wichita Falls City Council.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony recognizing the multi-level effort will be scheduled at a later date.