Who Are The Defence Guard Service?
The Ministry of Defence Guard Service is a professionally qualified body of civil servants who provide unarmed guarding services over the various MOD sites in Gibraltar.
The Defence Guard Service (DGS) is the first point of contact for all MOD employees, visitors and contractors and they pride themselves on having a customer focused culture. They are posted in several sites including HM Naval Base, South Mole, the airfield and at the entry point to Devil’s Tower Camp.
There are 45 security officers that make up the DGS, including Senior Security Officers, with a handful of new recruits currently being trained.
In their initial two weeks of training, every defence guard is trained in first aid, search training, radio procedures and NERO training. They are also given an insight into how to thoroughly conduct a vehicle search, how to insert information into their pocketbooks, given a thorough understanding about policies and procedures, especially airfield procedures, as well as familiarising themselves with the different types of passes that are issued to MOD personnel and visitors.
Once the guards begin their duties, their job role includes control of access to all MOD estate entry points, conducting security searches including random vehicle checks and ensuring the security of crew and its vessel when there are visiting ships berthed in South Mole and HM Naval Base.
When visiting vessels are docked in the base, the guard’s job role intensifies as they continue to maintain a sterile environment once the Gibraltar Defence Police search team have conducted an extensive search of the area. Security access to South Mole and HM Naval Base increases significantly and contractors are denied access.
The DGS can be prominently seen on Winston Churchill Avenue where they are tasked with restricting pedestrian access across the runway when flights are approaching and facilitating safe crossing under inclement weather. Up until very recently, prior to the opening of the Kingsway Tunnel, DGS were also responsible for ensuring the safe crossing of vehicles along Winston Churchill Avenue.
Defence Guard Service’s Operations Manager Diandra Desoisa said: “Our officers work extremely hard in order to ensure that the security of all MOD sites is not compromised.
“Although security is our main role, we also pride ourselves in providing the best service to the MOD and its customers by assisting both MOD staff and the public with different types of issues they might be encountering on a day to day basis.”