Officials say ID system will enhance security
By BRYCE S. DUBEE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 6, 2008
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Act now or wait later is the message Yokota security officials are trying to convey to base residents in an effort to register as many people as possible in the Defense Biometric Identification System, or DBIDS.
The computer-based security and identification system keeps a database of biometric information such as a person’s height and weight, eye color and fingerprints. The information plus a color photograph are stored and used to identify personnel entering a military installation.
The system was used first at U.S. Forces Korea installations and was fully implemented throughout USFK in September 2001. Since then, DBIDS implementation has spread to other Department of Defense installations around the world, including Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, which began using the system in 2005.
“The reason Yokota is implementing DBIDS is to increase our ability to detect the ever present danger of fraudulent ID cards, provide better visibility of the numerous local contractors, and to improve our visitor control procedures,” explained David Edenfield, chief of the security forces plans division of 374th Security Forces Squadron. A person’s information is tracked using the bar code on his or her identification card. Individuals without a military or DOD-issued ID card — such as Japanese national employees and children under age 10 — will be issued a DBIDS card with their bar-coded information.
Edenfield said one of the biggest benefits of the system is it provides security personnel detailed information about a person’s status on the base.
DBIDS can flag people who might be barred from installations, are wanted by law enforcement or have reported an ID card lost or stolen, according to the DBIDS Web site.
“For example, if someone has received a Red Cross notification and the unit is unable to contact this person, we can input this into DBIDS, and when they come into the gate, we can notify them to immediately contact their first sergeant,” Edenfield said.
The system also allows for shorter wait times when signing in guests from off base, he said, because a base resident’s information can now be entered with a simple swipe of a bar code.
Edenfield said the 374th Security Forces Squadron is conducting a campaign to get as many residents registered in DBIDS as possible.
“During this first phase of the program, we are focusing our registration efforts on adult sponsors and dependents,” he said. “That is not to say we won’t register children with ID cards, but we are leaving that up to the parents to decide.”
Registration for DBIDS is taking place at Yokota’s Pass and Registration Office in Building 316 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and at the Airman and Family Readiness Center from 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday and 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday during Right Start. The entire process takes only about two to three minutes, Edenfield said.
“As of now, DBIDS registration is not mandatory,” he said. “When we implement the gate scanning and visitor control system sometime in the July-August time frame, if someone is not registered, it could cause some delay at the gate, and they will not be able to sponsor guests on the base.”
For more information, call the 374th Security Forces Pass and Registration Office at DSN 225-8932.