2014-03-14 / Spectrum

Automated entry means improved security

This week, the Automated Installation Entry becomes the standard, not the exception, for entering Fort Gordon. So let’s take a look at what that means – and what it doesn’t.

It means that, during rush hour, nothing changes. In order to open additional lanes and expedite the flow of commuters onto the installation, gate guards will continue to hand check identification cards during rush hour. Visitors go to the Gate 1 Visitor’s Center as usual.

It means that, after rush hour, when the AIE system is in use, ID card holders will swipe their registered IDs through the AIE terminal and proceed when directed. Again, visitors go to the Gate 1 Visitor’s Center as usual.

However, when the AIE system is in use, two important distinctions are in place:

- If you’re a DoD ID cardholder and you’re not registered in the system, then you’re a visitor – and the only place you can enter the installation is through the Gate 1 visitor’s lane.

- If you’re a criminal, if you’re barred from the installation, if law enforcement authorities are looking for you for any reason, and you try to enter the installation using a DoD ID card, whether it’s yours or one that was stolen, we’ll get you.

The AIE system is about security, not about convenience. And, now that it’s in full operation at our gates, Fort Gordon is a more secure place to live and work.

You see, when you swipe your card through the AIE terminal, your photo appears on a display screen in the guard’s booth. If the photo he sees doesn’t match the face in the vehicle, you’re caught. If the ID cardholder was declared ineligible for entry, you’re caught. The functionality of the AIE database, combined with the guard’s intuition and experience, make Fort Gordon a harder target for potential wrongdoers.

But that security comes at a price – registration – and the March 15 full activation date did not sneak up on anyone. Wide-ranging publicity, from newspaper articles, social media posts, local media interviews and commanders’ calls, informed the community about registration requirements for the past year and a half. The deadline didn’t appear on the calendar suddenly. In fact, the deadline was originally set for Feb. 15, but was delayed to give more people time to register.

But eventually, time runs out, and in order to enjoy the full benefit of the system, we need to turn it on and use it. So, if you’re an ID cardholder who normally uses Gate 2, 3 or 5, it’s time to get registered, or get used to making the long drive out of your way to the visitor’s lane at Gate 1.

Security comes at a cost, but you shouldn’t over pay. If you’re not yet registered, or you know someone who isn’t registered, send them to the Visitor’s Center or the MP Administration Office at Darling Hall to get registered right away.

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