Guard Towers. In the past, guard towers used for security
purposes at military facilities have traditionally been constructed of a
structural steel truss tower with an enclosed metal cab. This design has its
limitations because personnel are exposed to potential attack while ascending
to or descending from the cab. Design of guard towers must begin with a
physical site study, terrain analysis, and an analysis of security
requirements contained in the Site Security Plan. Based on this data, basic
design criteria can be determined as follows:
Maximum number of personnel required to be accommodated in
the guard tower(s) to meet security requirements.
Number of guard towers required.
Installation requirements for electronic and communications
equipment, including location in the guard tower for optimum use by security
Requirement for, and location of gun ports.
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and plumbing
Guard tower design should provide small arms protection for
security force personnel meeting ballistic threat levels III - IV. Guard
tower design must include provisions to ensure that security personnel under
duress are able to transmit signals discretely to other security personnel by
either electrical, electronic, or oral means. Guard towers should be designed
with a searchlight on the center of the roof, which can be rotated manually by
the tower occupant.
Location and Height. The location and height of the guard tower
that will best suit a particular facility depends to a great extent on the
nature of the facility, the terrain to be under observation, the physical
environment, and the functions that the tower will serve. Towers will be
placed inside of the 30-foot (9.1-m) inner clear zone. The height to the
cabin floor of the tower should normally be between 25 and 50 feet (7.6 and
15.2 m). For most facilities, the height to the cab floor is determined by
the surrounding terrain, and the desires of the facility commander. The tower
door should face another tower to allow the neighboring tower to visually
monitor the tower door.
Guard tower cabins must be located so that the entire inner and
outer clear zones and fence line can be observed. In hilly terrain and areas
with heavy vegetation, a series of small guard towers may be required to
maintain observation of the entire area. Explosives safety criteria contained
for Handling, Storing, Production, Renovation, and Shipping, must be
considered in siting guard towers at explosive component storage areas.