Entry controller: if it’s 100 percent, it’s 100 percent

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jason Wiese
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
When coming onto an Air Force installation, individuals may undergo 100 percent identification checks, during which entry controllers conduct hands-on checks of IDs from almost everyone in vehicles entering the base.

The only exception is children and teens aged 15 or younger, who can be sponsored on base by an adult with proper ID, said Master Sgt. Dana Patterson, 90th Security Forces Squadron.

"To gain access to the base, you need to be in possession of a Department of Defense-issued ID card; F. E. Warren-issued contractor badges; distinguished visitor badges, Air Force Form 75 visitors pass or be on a properly authenticated entry authority list," he said.

Entry controllers perform 100 percent ID checks at random times. Signs at F.E. Warren's gates indicate when 100 percent ID checks are occurring.

If someone attempts to come on base without valid ID, they will be forced to turn around. During 100 percent ID checks, if a vehicle coming on base has passengers without valid ID, they will likewise be turned away, Patterson said.

Senior Airman Robert Andersen, 90th SFS entry controller, said sometimes people forget their IDs, leaving them on base when they go outside the gate.

"We tell them to turn around and call someone on base to go find their ID," he said. "If they're military, we brief them that they should have their military ID at all times.

"People are usually understanding. We just tell them, 'If it's 100 percent, it's 100 percent.'"

Security Forces Airmen who allow someone on base without proper ID could face administrative or judicial action.

The September 11, 2001 attacks changed the way the Air Force handles force protection. Before the attacks, it was easier to enter an Air Force installation, Patterson said.

"Prior to 9/11, people entering the base would typically be waved on by the entry controller after was visually verified," he explained. "Now it's imperative we positively identify everyone entering the installation for the safety and security of base personnel and our resources."

People who intend to cause harm to Air Force personnel or resources are deterred by random 100 percent ID checks, Andersen said.

Also, people banned from the base sometimes attempt to gain access to the base for on-base amenities such as cheaper gasoline or access to the Base Exchange. If caught, they will be prosecuted, he said.

Unauthorized individuals usually want something we offer on base, but an unauthorized individual might intend to harm Air Force personnel or resources, so 100 percent ID checks are an important deterrent, Andersen said.

People who are authorized access to the base can avoid inconvenience by having required identification with them at all times, he said.

"Always make sure your passengers and yourself have proper ID when driving," Andersen added.