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Starting this week, people trying to enter U.S. Army Europe facilities around the Kaiserslautern military community will be met by guards carrying a new kind of weapon: a laser scanner.

Security forces began checking stored electronic pictures against the ones on identification cards Wednesday at Kleber Casern and Rhine Ordnance Barracks for registration with the Installation Access Control System, a new security program gradually being rolled out by the military.

They will begin scanning an ID card’s bar code at Miesau on Thursday, with Panzer Casern scheduled to start the new screening sometime in the coming weeks, according to the Army’s IACS security officer for the KMC area, Norbert Kurz.

The new scanning stations will more than double the number of Army gates currently checking people for IACS registration around the KMC — 17 will eventually employ the system — and put another dent in USAREUR’s goal of having 199 Army and U.S. Air Force Europe gates online by next March.

“We’re shooting to complete all fielding, to include USAFE, by the end of March,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Sickinger, the IACS European project officer.

Sickinger called that time line, however, “rather aggressive.”

In order for the system to work, ID card holders must register. That requirement, plus construction at some gates needed to facilitate hardware installation, has slowed the rollout of the system in Europe, and pushed the completion date into next spring.

Around Kaiserslautern, all access points are physically ready for IACS installation, Kurz said, but registration numbers aren’t high enough yet to open them all simultaneously.

“We’re doing a few locations at a time,” he said. “We have the ability to put it at all the gates, [but] we don’t want to create any confusion.”

According to Air Force officials, about 44,000 people in the KMC area need to register for the system. Through mid-October, about 33,000 people had done so, Sickinger said.

Across Europe, a similar percentage of people is now logged into the system. About 250,000 people have registered, Sickinger said, just short of the goal of having around 300,000 “steady state” personnel registered. While as many as 450,000 people might be eligible for registration in Europe at any one time, he said, many of those are in transition to other theaters, which changes their IACS information.

Nonregistered people who approach a gate where the system is being used can get through, Kurz said, but may be delayed. To register, people should contact their local registration station, and system’s registrar needs to be notified whenever an ID card changes, for example, if a person is promoted or the card’s expiration date changes.

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