Common access cards are first line of defense

  • Published
  • By Conrad Butzer
  • 82nd Training Wing Installation Antiterrorism Office
Many people feel helpless in the battle to combat terrorism. Considering the events over the past few years including Sept. 11, and the bombings of the London public transportation system, many people think the Nation is helpless to prevent these horrible acts of senseless violence. 

Experts say it is not a matter of if the U.S. gets attacked again, but when. Terrorists increasingly look for "soft targets" or areas that generally don't have physical security measures. In some cases they search for ways to access secure areas. 

There are multiple programs and initiatives on Sheppard that go a along way in securing our installation, resources and families, and many more technology based solutions that will eventually provide even greater levels of security in the future. 

Many times it's what isn't done that makes people more susceptible to terrorism. Often times civilian establishments leave common access cards hanging outside garments and otherwise unattended. A civilian gymnasium frequented by military members is a common place to see this. 

Future may use automation and credentials with imbedded fingerprint to allow access to military installation. Similar technology will be used at DoD Installations over time. 

Biometric ranging from retina scans to hand prints seen in the movies are quickly becoming a reality. 

In the very near future many entry control points will be automated and an access card will play a big role in securing our borders. It has often been stated that the security forces member at the gates are the base's first line of defense. 

When technology takes over and the troop that used to stand on that gate might be replaced with a card reader and drop arm, credentials will have affectively become the "first line of defense." It is important that to protect credentials to help keep the installation safe from intruders. 

If there are any questions contact the law enforcement desk at 676-2981, the 82nd Training Wing Installation Antiterrorism Officer Conrad Butzer at 676-1352, or a unit antiterrorism representative.