Joint Base San Antonio is at the forefront of a federal government initiative to reduce the number of backlogged personnel security investigations throughout the Air Force.
Starting the first week of December, JBSA will become a temporary National Background Investigations Bureau satellite hub. NBIB is an agency within the Office of Personnel Management that is responsible for performing background checks on federal personnel.
“The program will house approximately 40 NBIB investigators on JBSA for about 30 weeks to take a large step toward mitigating the enormous backlog of PSIs associated with getting a security clearance,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Anthony Brown, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander.
The San Antonio area has the largest number of investigative leads for Air Force members within the United States, Brown said.
“This is due to our training mission here and this location being the early end of an Air Force experience for so many,” he said. “This presents a unique opportunity to be able to clear out a large number of leads in a short period of time, which will not only benefit AETC, but will benefit the entire Air Force.”
A majority of investigators will be at JBSA-Lackland because of the basic training and technical training missions there, said Michael Allshouse, AETC director of information protection.
“The initial plan is to have 30 investigators at JBSA-Lackland and 10 at JBSA-Randolph, but there will be flexibility to place them where they are needed,” he said.
NBIB investigators are scheduled to begin their work at JBSA-Lackland the first week of December, Allshouse said. Investigations at JBSA-Randolph will start after the holidays.
JBSA is the second installation to become a temporary NBIB hub. The first was Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on Oct. 31. Other temporary NBIB hubs will be set up on installations with large numbers of backlogged personnel security investigations, estimated at nearly 90,000 throughout the Air Force.
JBSA is considered the “hottest red spot” for backlogged investigations in the Air Force because of missions such as basic military training and technical training at JBSA-Lackland, Allshouse said.
“There are about 8,000 investigative leads at any given time in the San Antonio area,” he said.
JBSA will provide office space and support items for investigators as well as a pool of people to help schedule interviews, Allshouse said.
Service members and civilians who will be interviewed will be notified via the Education and Training Management System to schedule an appointment with an NBIB special agent. When they receive the notification, they will have 48 hours to schedule an appointment in ETMS.
Interviewees are asked to bring their common access card, passport and other items to the interview to expedite the process. The other items are financial information related to financial delinquencies or issues, a cellphone or address book with contact information for personnel contact sources and copies of any of their Standard Form 86 Certifications.
One of the advantages of setting up hubs is that investigators will not have to travel to conduct interviews, Allshouse said.
“The individual will come to the investigator for the interview rather than the investigator going to where the individual is,” he said.
The pilot hub at Wright-Patterson tests the approach of a more deliberate scheduling combined with interviews being performed at a single location, with the goal of reducing the time investigators spend on traveling and tracking down interviewees.