New 5-day Fast Pass allows for quick access to post for qualified visitors without military IDs
By G. Anthonie Riis | Fort Knox NewsJanuary 10, 2020
U.S. Citizens without a Department of Defense/military ID card who rarely visit the installation can now obtain a Fort Knox 5-day Fast Pass online in a matter of minutes -- a first for Army installations."We're one of just four installations who have used an unmanned kiosk to vet visitors," said Kevin Kusak, deputy director of the Fort Knox Directorate of Emergency Services. "Now, we're the first to offer a 5-day pass online."Those wishing to obtain a 5-day Fast Pass can visit [the link below] and select "5-Day Fast Pass," follow the instructions, and in a few minutes, applicants should receive a text message confirming the pass request is approved. Some may have to wait up to 24 hours for a response. Individuals' valid state driver's licenses/IDs will serve as their pass.According to Felicia Mallet, physical security specialist with DES, the idea for the 5-day Fast Pass came about because of the variety of individuals who visit Fort Knox as well as the desire to improve efficiency."Fort Knox receives a lot of visitors throughout the year who are only here for a few days a year for events like Cadet Summer Training family days and graduations as well as those who attend large events like the Fourth of July," said Mallet. "This creates a bottleneck at the Visitor Center, creates longer wait times for customers. The new system allows out-of-state travelers and those needing access for a short period to proceed directly to a manned gate so the Visitor Center can concentrate on long-term patrons."Mallet said the new pass will be a significant timesaver for many visitors."Vetting via the website allows the customer to apply for a pass on their own time and from their own computer or smartphone without physically having to come to the Visitor Center or stand in line," said Mallet.Those authorized a 5-day Fast Pass should drive directly to any of Fort Knox's open gate lanes and present their driver's license/ID to a gate guard to gain installation entry."The scanner [that the gate guard uses] will recognize whether you registered the driver's license/ID] with the system, and the guard will validate that it's your picture on the license," said Mallet.Kusak said that merging technology with human oversight is much more efficient, but it also doesn't lower security standards or sacrifice quality."It's a requirement that everyone be vetted before gaining entrance to the post. This program doesn't skirt any of the current security measures," Kusak said. "A background check is still conducted and the patron is still being identified by the guard before coming onto post."According to Kusak, the system will be especially helpful during largescale public and training events."This helps us significantly during the summer surge -- specifically during CST when we're accommodating thousands of cadets and processing their families as they come for family days and graduations," Kusak said. "Not only does the new process save time getting through the gate, but having advance approval could also save visitors from out of state the time, effort and resources of traveling to Fort Knox, only to be refused admittance."Mallet said that the 5-day Fast Pass is intended for those who seldom visit the installation. Those who have forgotten their military IDs or long-term visitor passes should still go to the Visitor Center to obtain a 1-day pass from a kiosk. Additionally, those who visit Fort Knox on a regular basis would be better served by obtaining a 1-year pass -- also available at the kiosk or a manned window.
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