June 07, 2004

Security Solutions

Well, the last two companies that I've started have in one way or another been related to the security industry, so I've always got security solutions on my mind. This place is a security candy store complete with display window. I've seen satellite based vehicle tracking devices (old and crappy by today's standards, the military apparently runs a bit behind the latest on the market), electronic and video solutions, and all kinds of other really neat high tech stuff. Of course, however, most of the focus is in on physical security and, though I never thought I'd find physical security that interesting, there are some solutions here that really have a satisfactory feel to them upon examination.

Razor wire and physical barriers really are effective means of keeping cars and people where you want them. There are two basic types of physical barriers around here: concrete and dirt filled. The concrete barriers have a certain elegance to them in and of themselves. They are about 5' wide, and 2' thick at the base, but then quickly taper up to about 10 inches thick, which they remain all the way to their top, which can be between 3' and 10' off the ground. There are re-bar loops at the top (so clearly the inside is re-bar enforced) so that you can grab them with the prongs on the scoop of a bulldozer, or a crane, and move them around. The nice thing about them is that even if you slammed into one with a car and knocked it over that it would still be 2' high (the thickness of the base) and high center the vehicle. Elegantly simple and effective. The dirt filled barriers are just wire reinforced bags that are about 5' in diameter and sit about 5' high -- then they fill them with dirt. Once it's filled it's not going anywhere and you're not driving anything through it. Line them up and throw some razor wire on top and you're not walking through it either.

The most elegant solution I've seen, however, is in the entrances to the green zone. They've created a nice long driveway, if you will, that you have to drive up to get in. It's probably 200' long and 20' wide. There are 3' tall concrete barriers every 30' or so, one blocking the left half of the driveway, the next blocking the right, and so on, so you have to drive very slowly along this serpentine route to get in. There are, of course, guards with M-16's, machine gun nests, and all that stuff along the way so that if you decide to try to break through you won't get very far without attracting lots of fast moving lead. Well, the neat part is what's at the end of the driveway ... a guard dog? ... a machine gun nest? ... a row of Hummers with .50 cals on the roof? ... a platoon of crack soldiers with M-16's?

Nope .... just an M1 tank.

With it's barrel pointing right down the driveway.

Gate crasher? Boom. Problem solved. No one is crashing that gate; the tank has a firing solution something akin to shooting a hippo squeezed into a barrel. Of course, the tank sits behind several rows of dirt filled barriers with it's cannon sticking over the top just because, uh, I dunno, no one is going to get to it anyway. But I guess it can't hurt. Oh, there is a second tank behind it in case the first one breaks.

Crude, but effective, and I freakin' love it.

Posted by rick at June 7, 2004 12:21 AM