The problem for Jhooper & myself who both live in CLL is the idiots who run Texas A&M University. They are so sure that TAMU is a target for a terrorist attack and the airport is the primary target, I've never heard the nuclear reactor mentioned. (BTW, the nuke is a research reactor only. Last time I checked it doesn't produce power and is usually in standby mode.) Lets see if I can explain what I've learned from the airport administrator and from my job with the TAMU System.
Even before Sept. 11th, TAMU was home to Texas’ Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) Team, Texas Task Force 1. TTF-1 was created after the Oklahoma City bombing to allow Texas to have a fully staffed and equipped organization to respond to any major disaster, natural or man made. TTF-1 is under the direction of Dr. Kem Bennett who is also the head of the Texas Engineering Extension Service for which I work. (His real name is George Kemble Bennett but he goes by Kem Bennett, no idea why. There is also a big stink now with him about some TAMU job appointments. Starting next week, he will be gone from TEEX but will become the Vice-Chancellor for Engineering) They have responded over the years to floods, tornados, and when the Bonfire fell @ TAMU in 1999, they used their equipment to search for survivors inside the rubble. Back in early 2001, TTF-1 moved into one of two large hangers @ Easterwood Airport. You can see the hangers in the only picture of CLL in the database, courtesy of me. After Sept. 11th, TTF-1 was deployed to the WTC. Upon their return, TEEX went into full terrorism mode. Access to the building that houses the TAMU System offices is now restricted, even to employees of the System who aren’t “lucky” enough to work in that building, like myself. TEEX also feels that TTF-1 and another TEEX organization called NERRTC, or National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center, makes TAMU, TEEX, and the airport a major target for a terrorist attack. The current thinking is that terrorists will want to destroy our ability to respond to another attack by first killing off all people who train the responders and then killing the responders. (I still can’t figure out this reasoning and neither can most NERRTC people.) However, trying to probe into NERRTIC or TTF-1 is like trying to probe into the activities of the Delta Force. TEEX keeps those two organizations very secret and attempting to learn too much about them is NOT encouraged and will result in fairly harsh rebukes.
Another problem is a place called TEEX-ESTI or Emergency Services Training Institute. Up until a few years ago, it was called the Fire Protection Training Division. ESTI teaches all kinds of first responders including fire fighters, paramedics and haz-mat. (TEEX also does police training but that is under a different division.) Recently built @ the Fire Field (name still used by most TEEX people) is a place called “Disaster City”. This is designed to simulate a city that has just been hit by a nuclear detonation or some other kind of massive explosion. This program is all ties into NERRTC and TTF-1 has some kind of involvement. And why is ESTI a problem for people who might want to spot @ the airport. If you drive down the road that leads to the nuclear reactor, ESTI is on the left side and the airport is on the right.
If you look @ this picture, the passenger terminal in just below center. The general aviation buildings and hangers (including TTF-1's) are just slightly higher of center all way to the left. Top center of the map is ESTI. The lower complex is the Brayton Fireman’s Training School. The upper complex is “Disaster City”. The nuclear reactor is the small white dome in the top right of the picture. It shows that CLL is probably in the worst possible place because of all the “security” concerns.
Now here is the icing for this cake of stupidity. I heard this from the manager @ CLL, from 3 NERRTC people, and 4 from TTF-1. (Most rank and file TTF-1 and NERRTC people are real nice and don’t act like all of this is “Black Ops” stuff. The administration are the fools stuck in “Black Ops” mode.) TAMU is 110% convinced there is a terrorist sleeper cell made up of students who attend Texas A&M University. Now is it possible? Sure, anything is possible. We have a fair number of Middle Eastern students. Is it likely? Not very in my opinion and in the opinions of most. This is just TAMU’s way of creating all kind of dumb ass rules and using terrorism as an excuse. According to the airport Admin. and some people @ TEEX, security in and around CLL will become much tighter over the next few months. What they are planning I don’t know and probably don’t want to know. [sarcasm on]
I’m just waiting for the day they bring out PAC-3 anti-aircraft missiles, M1-A2 MBT’s, and some F-22's to fly CAP. [sarcasm off]
As for what they can do to us. University P.D. has the same law enforcement powers as any other police department and if ordered, they will detain you. If they feel you were engaged in “suspicious” activity, they will either question you and let you leave, or if they feel you pose a threat, you will be taken to jail until the FBI can come to question you. What sucks is TAMU owns about 90% of the property that borders the freaking airport so THEIR rules apply even off direct airport property. The only good news lately is the guy who was hired to be the head of the Federal security people @ CLL is well known for being a good guy. He was a cop in Bryan for almost 30 years and I’ve met him several times. I’ve never heard anything bad about him and if he is ½ as good as his brother, he will be an improvement for CLL. (His brother also was a cop, is now on the city council, and taught sociology @ our junior college. His class was probably the best non-history course I’ve ever taken.)
I guess CLL will be a good airport again by 2015. That is when TAMU wants to close Easterwood and have a new city/county run airport open elsewhere. They want to tear down Easterwood and use the land for other purposes.