JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO —
The family members of Airmen who have died in action have access to Joint Base San Antonio locations as part of an Air Force initiative that began this year.
The Gold Star Base Access ID program was launched May 1 at Joint Base Andrews, Md., and implemented Air Force-wide starting May 15.
“We understand the sacrifices these families made and wants to make sure they’re still part of our family,” said Criselda Smith, JBSA-Randolph Military & Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant. “We want them to come into our Air Force communities.”
The ID card program allows Gold Star family members – parents, siblings and adult children of active-duty Airmen whose death occurred as a result of combat or terrorism since 9/11 – to receive a Defense Biometric Identification System card for installation access.
Gold Star DBIDS cardholders are able to enter Air Force installations unescorted to visit buried loved ones, attend events and activities, and receive immediate and long-term support at Airmen & Family Readiness Centers, Smith said.
The Gold Star ID card has a one-year expiration from date of issue, which may be renewed indefinitely. It allows 24/7 access with no escort or sponsor required, but does not allow access above Force Protection Condition Bravo or access to exchanges, commissaries and recreational facilities.
Gold Star family members from the past two years received a letter about the ID card that was signed by the Air Force installation commander closest to where they reside, but Gold Star family members previous to the past two years may self-identify to receive the card by contacting their local Air Force Families Forever program representative.
Gold Star families will work with security forces to be vetted prior to receiving their ID cards.
The ID card allows access to the base closest to them, but Gold Star family members may also enter other Air Force installations by registering their card through pass and registration at the visitor control center at each base prior to entry.
JBSA M&FRCs and security forces will work with visitor control centers to take care of Gold Star family members who apply for their DBIDS cards, Smith said.
“Our goal is to take care of these families,” she said. “We want them to know the Air Force cares.”
For more information, call the Military & Family Readiness Center at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 221-2705; JBSA-Lackland, 671-3722; or JBSA-Randolph, 652-5321.