MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Marine Corps Installations East Regional Brig, a brand-new, pre-trial holding facility aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, opened Aug. 14.
The fresh facility is replacing the 44-year-old brig on base, bringing with it a slew of the latest and greatest features. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Glenn Watson, the brig’s commanding officer, described it as a welcome step “into the 21st century.”
A big difference between the older building and this one is the security system, said Master Sgt. Cory Mitchell, the brig officer for Security Company, Headquarters and Support Battalion.
“Everything is now touch-screen operated, and we can control everything at a single control panel now, whereas the old building still uses physical keys,” said Mitchell. “Also, there was no working camera system in the old building.”
The safety of the Marines is the largest improvement between the old and new brig, said Mitchell.
The older brig has many dark corners, hallways and other spaces that were impossible to watch, causing Security Company’s Marines to risk danger while on duty. The new building has cameras and different monitors everywhere, making the job a much safer one.
Another improvement, though not tangible, is the morale of the Marines assigned to the brig.
“It’s so muggy in (the old brig), and the air conditioning barely works,” Mitchell said. “The Marine will now be able to come into a much cooler building. It makes for a better work environment.”
The MCI East Regional Brig is the newest correction facility currently in the Marine Corps, housing the best equipment and latest technology available. Its design is vastly more efficient than its predecessor’s. Everything is consolidated into a one-story building, bringing personnel offices much closer together. Watson described it as a building “made for corrections,” since the flaws of the former brig’s layout were fixed in the new design.
The new facility also requires less man hours to operate than the old brig, since it is a smaller building with modern security systems, which should make the Marines’ job easier while working shorter shifts.
“We will still have plenty of Marines on post and in the facility, but the actual manpower itself will go down,” said Mitchell. “With it, we’re able to change their schedule in order to avoid having a single Marine on a 24-hour shift on a regular basis.”
We’re really looking forward to (moving into) this facility, said Watson. It’s been a long time coming.