New security policy tightens access to bases

The Department of the Army has released new requirements for individuals requesting access to military bases.

Fox News reported that a new Defense Department background check security system could force visitors to obtain special passes to enter bases. Right now, several installations only require they show their driver’s license to gain access to military institutions.

The system called the Identity Matching Engine for Security and Analysis (IMESA) combines a background check through the FBI’s National Crime Information Center arrest warrant database. It also verifies credentials making sure they have not been stolen and are still valid.

The IMESA program initiative was implemented after the 2013 D.C. Navy Yard shooting. The incident left 12 people dead and 3 injured by the gunman’s rampage. After the occurrence, a review suggested authorities speed up the launch of the new system.

Service members, dependents, and civilian employees already in the Defense Department’s personnel database will be checked when they pass through a security checkpoint and their IDs scanned. Visitors, however, will have to go through a totally different process.

According to Fox News, depending on the base location, a visitor may be required to go into a visitors’ center and provide detailed information like their full name, date of birth and social security number. If they are traveling by car with a Department Defense-issued ID card holder, they will only be required to show a government-issued ID.

Fort Campbell is ready to launch on August 15. Details on when other bases will implement the new security measures have not be released.

“Easy installation access necessitated security matters to be tightened and DoD is ensuring installation come into a uniform compliance,” said Robert Jenkins, a spokesperson for Fort Campbell.

“Our job is security every single day,” Access Control Chief Richard Vater said. “The new procedure is going to make Fort Campbell residents and people who live, work and play on the installation, feel a bit safer that there are certain people who are now not authorized access to the installation.”

Some bases had moved to a more relaxed policy over the years. Fort Benning no longer issued visitor’s passes and closed their visitors’ centers down. Now gate guards can scan driver’s license to ensure ID has been check and monitored.

The new policy will require them to reopen their visitors’ center, taking away any savings they made by the closure of the buildings.

WWW.ARMY.MIL reported that Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) officials were not able to provide details on the deadline on how many will have to reopen their visitors pass program. It is unclear how Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps bases, which often do not have the same open access policies as some Army posts, will be impacted.


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