Oct. 25, 2011
By J.D. Leipold, Army News Service
Like most other installations around the world, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, or JBM-HH, and other Military District of Washington installations will cease issuing decals and registering vehicles Nov. 5.
All privately owned vehicles must still be licensed, registered, inspected and insured according to state and local laws. Rental vehicles are considered POVs for purposes of base entry, and rental contracts serve as proof for proper licensing, registration and insurance.
Maj. Gen. David E. Quantock, the Army provost marshal general, authorized base commanders to do away with motor vehicle registration and decals if they agree the process adds little to security and is in the best interest of the particular community.
JBM-HH Provost Marshal and Director of Emergency Services Lt. Col. Kenneth J. Sheppard, said he got the go-ahead from JBM-HH Commander Col. Carl R. Coffman recently.
“Security and safety of military personnel, their Families and DOD civilians are our top priorities,” Sheppard said. “ID verification is more effective in preventing unauthorized access, and the use of decals is redundant.”
Quantock, who recently became the Army’s provost marshal general and commander of Criminal Investigation Command, said the move to eliminate the registration and decal display, which is known as the DD Form 2220, came about because decals offer a false sense of security and are redundant to the information technology systems in place at most post gates.
“Vehicles change hands and many times those decals go from owner to owner to owner. If all security counted on was a decal to give access to a post, then I think you’re putting yourself at a huge vulnerability that could be taken advantage of,” Quantock said.
He also noted that it’s the automated systems guards use at the gates of most installations that are responsible for allowing security personnel to catch unauthorized people trying to gain access. When police make a traffic stop on an installation, they’re not running decal checks, they’re running license plates.
Different installations face different threats, so Quantock said he’s leaving the decision up to the individual commander to keep the post registration and decal system in place if deemed to be in the best interest of their communities.
As for cost savings, Quantock said if every post did away with the decal requirement, the savings would be $256,000 a year, which is what it cost to issue 800,000 decals at 32 cents each.
“Over five years, it would be $1.2 million in savings, and while we can be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars by taking something off the shelf, that really isn’t doing what we want it to do, it’s really not about that,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about analyzing threats and taking care of Soldiers, their Families and civilians and making sure they have the protection in place to live and work in a healthy environment.”
Q — Why is Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall no longer using DOD decals/vehicle registration?
A — ALARACT 343/2011 eliminated vehicle registration and DOD decals as a mandatory requirement for access to military installations. The decals/registration process is redundant and does not further security.
Q — Should personnel scrape the decals from their vehicles or leave them on?
A — There is no mandate to remove them. If you visit other military installations you may wish to keep your current decal on your vehicle. However, they should be removed once expired or upon transfer of vehicle ownership.
Q — With no decals, will all vehicles entering JBM-HH have to go through a vehicle search?
A — No. Holders of valid DOD-issued ID cards will not be required to undergo a search. All vehicles must continue to be licensed, registered, inspected and insured in accordance with state and local laws, and are subject to checks at the gates by law enforcement or security personnel.
Q — What if I am driving a rental car?
A — If the driver has a valid DOD-issued ID card along with a valid rental car contract, they will not be required to undergo a search.
Q — How are installations supplementing the security measure?
A — Identification vetting, just as we do now, will continue. Law enforcement and security guards will continue vehicle safety checks, random searches and inspections at all gates. As in civilian communities off post, drivers are required and subject to citations for failing to ensure proper registration, inspection and insurance on vehicles.
Q — Will there still be temporary long term passes?
A — Yes. Temporary vehicle passes up to one year will still be issued by the JBM-HH Visitor Control Center, located at the Provost Marshal’s Office in Bldg. 415. The VCC is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Q — Is a state-issued driver’s license considered a “government identification card?”
A — No. The identification must be issued by the federal government. Examples of DOD-issued ID cards include common access cards and military identification cards for family members and retirees.
Q — Is a DOD Pentagon pass or NCR pass considered a “DoD identification card?”
A — No. There are many different building security passes issued in the National Capital Region. These badges are designed for access into a building not an installation, and thus are not linked to a central database that can be cross-referenced by law enforcement personnel.