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At Osan Air Base, South Korea, Senior Airman Samuel Morant of Fayetteville, N.C., a security forces airman, checks the ID card of a motorist seeking entry to base.

At Osan Air Base, South Korea, Senior Airman Samuel Morant of Fayetteville, N.C., a security forces airman, checks the ID card of a motorist seeking entry to base. (Franklin Fisher / S&S)

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Base officials are cautioning airmen to closely safeguard their military identification cards, noting that 264 were reported lost from June through August.

That’s a slight decrease from the previous quarter, but base officials, citing security issues, say ID card loss remains a concern here.

Of the 264 lost cards, 196 belonged to active-duty personnel, 34 to civilian employees, 29 to dependents and five to military retirees, said 1st Lt. Tom Montgomery, a base spokesman. Figures for the previous quarter were not immediately available.

“It’s essential that we protect ID cards,” said Chief Master Sgt. Robert J. Swan, the 51st Security Forces Squadron manager. “We don’t want to give the enemy an advantage in that regard.”

Added Montgomery, “Checking people onto base involves checking the ID card. … There’s always the threat that somebody could manipulate or utilize a lost card, so we definitely try to safeguard those.”

“Particularly now, after 9/11,” said Swan, “you don’t know what the incident or event will be that will give somebody the prompt” for actions that could “be used against us. You need to be proactive at all times.”

Lost or stolen ID cards also might be used “for criminal activity,” he said.

Officials said they had no immediate information on black-market prices for stolen military IDs.

Those losing an ID card should report it immediately to base security forces and supervisors, Montgomery said.

“Our main concern is that the old card is immediately canceled and the new card can be issued,” he said, and that “we maintain the integrity of force protection and the anti-terrorism stance of the base.”

A lost or stolen card can be reported from off base by calling security forces at 031-661-5515, and from on base at DSN 784-5515.

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