A more secure JBLM

New Automated Installation Entry system implemented Aug. 1

By Lauren Finnegan, JBLM Garrison Public Affairs on July 18, 2019

People need to ask themselves -- is one to two seconds worth their safety?

Beginning Aug. 1, drivers entering Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) may notice longer lines at the gates. However, those long lines will mean a more secure JBLM, as the new Automated Installation Entry system handheld scanners are implemented.

While the new scanners will take one to two seconds longer to validate access credentials, William Trabucco, the JBLM chief of access control, said their increased capabilities will more than make up for the change.

"The AIE is a little bit slower than the current RAPIDGate scanners," Trabucco said, "but the AIE devices will make the installation more secure. RAPIDGate is a commercial system that is dependent on the information that we fed it locally. It wasn't doing anything to validate the ID."

AIE, which has been in use at the fixed podium scanners for the last three years, allows guards to check the validity of an ID against the information held in the Department of Defense's Defense Manpower Data Center.

"It allow us to compare DoD IDs, conduct live checks for active warrants and feed in our own information, such as driving revocations and local sex offender lists into the system."

Besides the minimal increased wait times, drivers won't see any difference in gate operations. The biggest change will affect contractors and vendors enrolled in the RAPIDGate system.

Those badges will no longer be valid starting Aug. 1, and affected individuals should contact their base sponsor for information on how to get their new badge issued.

Although there will be longer wait times, Trabucco stressed that the system is more beneficial to JBLM residents and employees than it's an inconvenience.

"The important part for people to know is, (the AIE system) is for them," Trabucco said. "There are people out there who want to do bad things to American servicemembers. This helps us to prevent that from happening. We're not trying to inconvenience people; we're trying to keep them safe."