by Senior Airman Torri Larson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
It’s 7 a.m. and Airman Snuffy wakes up 20 minutes behind schedule, throws on a uniform and heads to Peterson. He pulls up to the gate and reaches for his identification card, only to find it missing. He smiles sheepishly when it’s his turn to pass through and explains to the sentry that he must have left his identification card at work the previous evening. The sentry instructs him to stop at the Visitors’ Center, where Airman Snuffy is greeted with an even longer line than he just sat through.
The time is now 7:35 a.m. and due to his own negligence, this Airman is late for work.
Despite the time of day or an individual’s status, there are policies and procedures that anyone requesting access to Peterson must abide by.
“Due to an alarming increase in personnel who have forgotten their identification, the current wing policy has been brought to light,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Fluck, 21st Security Forces Squadron security forces manager. “The policy has always been in effect and is applicable to all personnel requesting or requiring entry to the installation.”
Sergeant Fluck noted that according to the 21st Space Wing Installation Security Instruction, personnel requesting access without proper identification are required to have a sponsor meet and identify them at the gate or Visitor Center, which costs the individual more time while they’re waiting for someone to sign them on base.
“Since this policy has been enforced, we’ve only had about 10 people per day requiring visitor passes due to forgotten ID cards,” said Staff Sgt. Tina Holman, 21st SFS non-commissioned officer in charge of the Visitors’ Center. This number is down by almost half from just two months ago. “Many of the people we see are repeat offenders.”
According to Sergeant Holman, the majority of visitor’s passes issued are for individuals who have forgotten their ID cards.
“It’s up to each of us to keep ourselves, our families and the wing, secure,” said Col. Jay Raymond, 21st Space Wing commander. “This means taking responsibility for secured items and sensitive information, whether or not it causes an inconvenience.”
Sergeant Holman explained that with the enforcement of this policy, the Airmen at the Visitors’ Center have more time to focus on major projects like background checks for special event lists.
“We want personnel to keep in mind they must maintain positive control of their credentials,” Sergeant Fluck said.
“We fully understand that personnel will, at times, forget their identification — not just at work, but at home as well,” Sergeant Fluck stated. He explained that what some may consider inconvenient actually helps boost security. “To quote Thomas Jefferson, ‘The price of freedom is eternal vigilance’ — vigilance starts at the installation gates and our entry control procedures.”