Randolph leads DoD with base-entry system test
By Robert Goetz
| 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 17, 2007
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas —
A new high-tech entry system designed to make military installations safer while improving traffic flow will conclude testing at Randolph early next year.
The Automated Entry Control System at the base's main gate will allow common access card holders to enter Randolph by merely displaying their CACs, which will be read by a proximity reader.
"Randolph is serving as the operational field test bed for this Department of Defense-sponsored system," said Col. Gerard Jolivette, Air Education and Training Command Chief of Security Forces. "A final decision on what technologies will comprise this system should come to fruition within the next 60 days. The intent is to allow individuals to enter the base without making contact with a gate guard. It will help us identify who's entered the base in an automated fashion."
Colonel Jolivette said Brig. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog, Air Force Director of Security Forces, visited Randolph recently to see how the system operates.
"She was here to get a first-hand look at the hardware and to see how the system was installed and how it will integrate into the common operating picture the air staff is working to develop Air Force-wide," he said.
The effort to implement an Automated Entry Control System is the first phase of one of many integrated base defense concepts that is evolving throughout the Air Force to meet current security challenges. This test at Randolph is critical in respect to its role in the final decision on whether to implement this concept with this particular configuration.
"The proof of concept will be validated in January," said Lt. Col. Richard DeMouy, AETC Security Forces Programs and Resources Branch chief. "If it proves successful, implementation would take place shortly thereafter."
The scanning operation allows a gate guard stationed inside to see if the individual and vehicle entering the base matches the CAC's image and data. The second phase, the Defense Biometric Identification Database System, further refines the process by identifying a person through fingerprints, handprints and retina scans.
"The system will enable us to match names and vehicles against databases that track known terrorists and identify key persons of interest," Colonel DeMouy said. "It is a force multiplier. It will allow a young troop at the gate to better vet who is and who is not allowed on an installation. It better identifies an individual. It has the potential to revolutionize not just the Air Force but the DoD in protecting and defending threats on a day-to-day basis."
Colonel Jolivette said the system's electronic identification of individuals entering the base will allow Security Forces personnel to better perform their job.
"The system will use technology to supplement the human element and increase the probability of detection," he said.
Both officials said the 12th Security Forces Squadron is playing a major role as the system is being installed and will be an even more important player if it is implemented.
They also said the technology, which is already being used in war zones in the Middle East, will help enhance force protection across the DoD.
"This is a revolution, a leap to where we want to be," said Colonel Jolivette.