FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The need for tightened security at U.S. military installations worldwide resulted in changes to gate access procedures in the recent past, and Fort Rucker officials want to remind people what they need to access post.

All visitors age 18 and older who do not have a visitor's badge will be directed to a visitor center to apply for one as they enter the post, according to Peggy Contreras, Fort Rucker Community Police supervisor.

"To ensure that Fort Rucker is adhering to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, during the application process all visitors will be vetted through the National Crime Information Center Interstate Identification Index," she said. "While this is a Department of Defense-wide initiative, the Fort Rucker Directorate of Public Safety is streamlining the process for accessing the post."

Even with the badge, visitors will still need an additional form of ID that can be scanned, such as a driver's license, to access the post. The change does not affect people who hold a DOD ID card or Common Access Card, Army Form 1602 for contractors, or others with a federal-department issued ID, Contreras said.

There are visitor centers at the Daleville and Ozark gates. The Daleville Gate visitor center is open Mondays-Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Ozark Gate center is open Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors should plan ahead to arrive at the center at the appropriate time, according to Contreras.

The time it takes to get a badge can vary and depends largely on how many people are there when applying. Normal background checks average between 10-20 minutes, said the community police supervisor, she said.

Gate policy does allow for uniformed service members, adult family members, DOD employees, retired service members and their adult family members with valid DOD ID, and also CAC-holding contractors, to escort visitors without badges onto the installation.

Contractors with a Form 1602 are not allowed to escort and people who are escorted onto the installation must remain with their escort at all times, said Contreras.

"People who need badges, whether they are contract employees, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, civilians wanting to use the SPLASH! Park or family visiting from out of town, should work with the agency or person they have dealings with to coordinate getting a visitor badge," she said.

There are two types of passes people can obtain -- sponsored and unsponsored, according to Contreras. Frequent visitors who utilize facilities or activities, or who conduct business on post regularly, can apply with the organization they visit or deal with for a sponsored pass good for a year. Unsponsored passes will last for six months.

Entry procedures for special events, such as Fort Rucker Freedom Fest, will be looked at on a case-by-case basis and will be publicized well beforehand.

For more information, call 255-0404.