School started this week. Roads and sidewalks are busier now than they have been all summer. It is a good time to go over some of the procedures and concerns that we should all review with regard to security and safety onboard Naval Air Station Lemoore.

These activities happen daily on base, so I ask for your assistance to ensure we are doing our best to look out for each other and stay safe, realizing that each of us has the ability to create or prevent tragedy. We must think about our actions and their implications at all times and proactively take steps and precautions to ensure both your own and others’ safety.

Driving in parking lots:

The speed limit when driving in a parking lot is 5 mph. Yes, that seems slow. It is slow but there is a good reason behind it. Foot traffic is increased in parking lots and could easily be harmed by a moving automobile. Potentially, there are children who have stepped away from their parents or patrons unloading groceries who may not be paying attention. Cars are constantly pulling out and in of parking spaces. It is a busy area and driving slowly minimizes the necessity for an instantaneous reaction.

This includes the parking lot and drive-through area in front of the entire NEX / Commissary complex as well as driveways going through our barracks. Unless a speed limit of 15, 25 or 35 is posted, it is expected that the speed limit is 5mph. With regard to the NEX parking lot, the speed bumps in front of this complex are a result of traffic driving way too fast coupled with significant foot traffic.

Please do not accelerate between speed bumps or weave between patrons walking into or away from the stores. The speed limit is 5 mph. Please do not use excessive speed, weaving across parking lanes. Please be safe. Respect the parking aisles and be courteous to pedestrians. We should all look out for each other.

Franklin Avenue:

The speed limit on Franklin Avenue east of the Fleet and Family Support Center (i.e. Ticonderoga Avenue) is 25 mph, not 35 mph like most traffic travels through there. Anywhere inside our Lincoln Military Housing area is either 25 mph or 15 mph. The perimeter road is primarily 35 mph. To stress this again, school has started this week and many children are walking themselves to school, using the crosswalks.

You are required yield to pedestrians using the crosswalks. Be looking for pedestrians who may be using crosswalks well before you get there. Pedestrians must ensure the roadways are clear.

Pedestrians, please do not assume you have the right of way as a vehicle may not be paying attention. Bicycles in crosswalks are an extreme concern since riders might not slow or even stop before zooming across a crosswalk seemingly coming out of nowhere. Bike riders please help here and be predictable for motorists.

Assisting with security:

Being aware of your surroundings, noticing something that is not quite right and then reporting it is an everyday way of doing business. We should not begin being vigilant on July 4th, 9/11 or New Year’s Eve. If you see something suspicious, report it to the appropriate authorities who have the training and resources to appropriately deal with a situation. Report a suspicious package, suspicious vehicle or a suspicious person.

Do not fall into a false sense of security here in the charming San Joaquin Valley where the community relationships and friendliness towards our military and installation are like none other. I can assure you that tragedy can occur here as well if we all do not do our part with being vigilant and then reporting suspicious activity.

Even if you reported something and it turned out to be ok, report the same scenario again if you see it again. While it certainly is our Security Detachment’s job to keep us secure, we as citizens onboard the installation play a crucial role in maintaining that security as we are out and about onboard the installation thousands strong.

Thank you for all you do and your assistance with maintaining all of our security and safety onboard the installation!

All my best,

Captain David James

Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Lemoore