Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Security measures at the Combat Center’s gates have been adjusted in compliance with Department of Defense Force Protection regulations. The Combat Center has initiated the use of the Mobilisa scanner during rush hour traffic to manage safety hazards, identity fraud, tampering, counterfeiting and terrorist exploitation aboard the base.
Although the Mobilisa scanners have been used at the Combat Center since 2010, the push to employ them during rush hour traffic was April 8. The scanners check the authenticity of an identification card and can find any warrants on a person based on a crosscheck of more than 150 federal and state databases.
“First we do a (quick) investigation to make sure it is that individual being scanned on the Mobilisa,” said Maj. Kim Keefer, provost marshal, Provost Marshals Office. “We’ll have them pull over and look into what they were flagged for. If it’s a warrant, we’ll contact local law enforcement. If it’s just something we don’t allow on the installation, such as sex offenders, they will be denied access to the installation.”
The Mobilisa scanner is an electronic verification system that takes seconds to use. It scans the barcode on many different forms of identification military ID cards and driver’s licenses.
“Once you start communicating with the personnel that are operating the vehicles, it’s definitely going to open up the viewfinder for a lot more issues out there,” said Maj. Scott Pryor, deputy police chief, PMO. “It can lead to a lot more issues and possibly holding up that one person that may be going out there to do some harm to a unit because he or she is upset.”
Pryor also added that the scanners help with the contractors who work aboard the Combat Center. They’re able to track the validity of the ID card and their job and confiscate cards if the contractor no longer has privileges to access the installation.
Those coming aboard the Combat Center can help the heavy traffic by ensuring that everyone inside the vehicle has identification ready for PMO to scan at the gate.
“We’re trying to ease the congestion with the traffic coming in,” Pryor said. “We’ve opened up a third lane, which is a search lane, and we’re drawing trucks and vendors in to help traffic get through. We’ve been doing a pretty good job overall as far as security of the installation. Doing these things now is an improvement process.”
Gate guards are trained to be vigilant and always be on the lookout for activities that would endanger residents and workers on the base. The scanners allow a more in-depth approach for PMO to show its presence and enforce safety aboard the Combat Center.
“It’s all just safety procedures for everyone, not just us but for the general public as well,” said Sgt. Luis Cuestas, patrol sergeant, PMO.