For nearly two years now, Central Florida Research Park in east Orange County has been quietly and subtly transforming some of its most prominent facilities into anti-terrorism fortresses for the high-tech military agencies located there. Security measures such as vehicle-resistant fences, steel entrance gates and concrete pylons have been installed with the aim of hardening what the military calls “soft” targets for terrorism. The research park, next door to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, was a prime candidate for enhanced security, with its military complex built into in a suburban setting that is part college campus, part office park. The project is the result of a Pentagon edict, issued after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, calling for security upgrades at any building with a substantial military presence. Much of the work was paid for by the Pentagon itself, including improvements at the military’s 280,000-square-foot, high-tech, training-systems complex, which contains major Navy and Army contracting units, as well as other military agencies.
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