NAS Whiting Field advances base security

Published on April 04, 2014 with No Comments

Access to Naval Air Station Whiting Field got a little more high tech recently as a new security system was instituted to verify identification cards.  The new process uses modern scanning tools to read and display the information from ID cards on portable displays for security personnel.

This new process, called the Navy Access Control Management System (NACMS), requires that 100 percent of all persons entering into a Navy installation surrender their DOD issued IDs to be scanned and cleared for access. This process is accomplished by using a hand held scanner that is tied into various servers throughout the Navy. NACMS is part of a continuously evolving access control system that is taking advantage of advances in technology to enhance the safety and security of every member aboard the Navy’s nearly 60 shore installations in the United States.

Security ScanNAS Whiting Field first implemented the scanners March 7.  The security team spent the first week working out any difficulties with the process and the system has been online ever since.  Scan times average from 2 to 10 seconds, but should decrease slightly over time as initial card scans are completed.

Scan times vary due to factors such as the load on the network or the type of ID being scanned, and while delays have been fairly minimal to this point, they are an expected part of the process.  On an average week the Main Gate at NASWF scans up to 13,000 IDs.  Given that traffic volume, even a few seconds per vehicle adds up.

The majority of delays are experienced Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. The average time to enter the base during this high traffic time is 10 minutes, from Hwy 87 to the Gate.  Everyone should remember that the East / Back gate is open from 5 to 8 a.m.  Monday through Friday, and if individuals, tenant commands and other work forces could adjust their times of arrival to the base, it would help reduce the traffic flow during the peak hours.

“We highly recommend that persons entering the base be aware of possible delays while on Hwy 87 and make every attempt to be prepared for stopped and or slow moving traffic.  The Navy and NAS Whiting Field are committed to continuously updating the security and access control of our installation, and we need to adapt to and adjust our travel times to mitigate any delays for work or attending training.,” Lt. j.g. Stephen Pakola said.

The trade-off is a safer base that significantly enhances security’s ability to limit access to unauthorized persons.  NACMS improves the department’s abilities to protect the installation and its personnel from criminal and terrorist threats.  That makes the inconveniences seem rather minor.

The Navy first started working with NACMS in December and Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is implementing the process in stages across the country.  Navy Region Southeast started in January and should be complete no later than next month.  The conversion to the NACMS program is expected to be completed at all CONUS stations by mid-summer.

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