FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Sept. 13, 2012) -- Following Army guidance and joining the ranks of other Army installations, the Fort Meade Directorate of Emergency Services has recently implemented the Trusted Traveler Program at all gates, except for the National Security Agency.

This program is intended to reduce wait times during the identification process and increase traffic throughout the gates.

According to AR 190-13, the Army Physical Security Program, Common Access Card holders, military retirees and military family members have an inherent purpose and are authorized access to Army installations.

The Trusted Traveler Program allows all DoD identification cardholders (DoD employees, active-duty military, family members ages 18 and older, and retired service members) to vouch for occupants in their immediate vehicle, provided the Trusted Traveler vehicle operator or passenger possesses a valid DoD ID card.

If there is no DoD ID cardholder in the vehicle, then all occupants will be required to show appropriate identification and possibly have the vehicle searched to enter Fort Meade.

This program is intended to:

* Expedite access to Fort Meade

* Mitigate traffic congestion on adjoining state highways

* Provide flexibility for trusted travelers to vouch for family members and guests

At no point will the safety and security of Fort Meade be compromised by this change. The DES will continue to execute programs that monitor and take aggressive action against possible illegal activities.

A key factor of any program is active community involvement. Everyone is encouraged to participate in Fort Meade's iWatch program at 301-677-2619 and call the Fort Meade Police immediately at 301-677-6622 if they observe suspicious activity.

For more information on the Trusted Traveler Program, call the DES Physical Security Office at 301-677-6618.