Fort Belvoir, Va. (Feb. 27, 2014) - Starting March 1, drivers coming onto Fort Belvoir may be asked to scan their ID card using a machine, instead of handing it to a gate guard, as Fort Belvoir phases in a new Automated Installation Entry system.
"It's another tool that the Army has come up with for us to try and be able to make the installation safer for the work environment … and the people that live here," said Jeff Nesmeyer, Fort Belvoir chief of physical security.
The AIE will strengthen the base security system with minimal changes to the policies in effect, added Capt. Amber Kangas-Flores, Fort Belvoir civilian supervisory police officer overseeing the AIE implementation.
"Instead of a manual check, it's an automated check. It takes some of the human error out," she said.
The AIE machines will scan cards and match them to the information and photo in the AIE database, drawn from the DEERS enrollment system.
Gate guards will still be present at the gates to verify that the driver matches the photo in the database, Kangas-Flores said.
"Once you scan your ID, there's a computer screen that's been put now in the booths, so they will be watching the screen. They're not necessarily touching your ID anymore, but your picture will now be on the screen, and they're verifying that that is the driver," she said.
The AIE system is an Army-wide initiative, Nesmeyer said. Fort Belvoir is just one of the first posts to implement it.
"Fort Belvoir is one of the few first installations to be getting this system. Eventually, it will happen at every installation the Army has," he said.
The system will be implemented gradually, starting with a test run.
"There's going to be a phase-in period, so we need the public to know that they're going to start seeing it at different gates at different times as early as March 1," Kangas-Flores said.
All visitors to Fort Belvoir will still be required to go through Tulley Gate and register at the Visitor Center.
Those who need to update their registration or ID card will be notified by gate guards and given an informational pamphlet telling them what they need to do, Kangas-Flores said.
"It's not going to be immediate, so if they come back the next day and they still haven't (fixed the registration), this is just a test. They're going to have time," she said.
During the testing phase, everyone with a valid ID card will be allowed to enter any gate, even if their card encounters issues, she added.
"We're not going to be turning anybody around if they're not registered. This is just a test to get the population used to it and for us to test the system to make sure that it's working," she said.