People who need access to military installations in Europe are being told to register at their local Installation Access Control System office.

However, through Thursday, only 50,000 of the approximately 400,000 who must sign up had done so, according to Maj. James Sickinger, project officer for the U.S. Army Europe’s Office of the Provost Marshal in Mannheim, Germany.

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe is implementing the same system, which will use bar codes on ID cards to track who comes and goes at military bases and other installations.

“Anybody who needs recurring, unescorted access needs to register through IACS,” Sickinger said.

That includes servicemembers and Department of Defense employees, their family members ages 10 and older, local national employees, contractors and others.

“Some bases are doing a lot better than others,” Sickinger said. “Some [base support battalions] have been very proactive in setting up registration schedules. Others are telling their people, ‘Come by whenever you have the time.’

“The key is — persons need to contact their local Provost Marshal Office or IACS office to see how their community is registering.”

IACS began registering card holders in February and signups will continue through September. All card holders’ information will be stored on computers.

Registration is the first phase of the project. The next begins in mid-June when installation of the scanning hardware at the gates of bases begins.

Eventually, guards posted at gates will scan ID cards just like purchased goods at a check-out line.

“This is a much better system than the old installation-pass system,” Sickinger said. “Before, there was no centralized control over who got passes, no way of tracking how they got the pass, or if they still needed the pass.”

Maj. David White of Ramstein Air Base, who is coordinating the Air Force’s end of the project, said 50,000-65,000 personnel, family members and others need to sign up. That is in addition to the 400,000 USAREUR has to register.

“Information should be flowing from the wing down to the people as to when they should register,” he said.

Air Force bases that will be affected are located in Ramstein, Spangdahlem and Rhein-Main, White said.

“We just started installing equipment and providing training at Spangdahlem,” White said. “We’ll begin registration there Friday or Monday.”

White said he hoped the IACS program will be operating at the Air Force facilities by spring 2004.

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