Navy bases transitioning to biometric ID system for access control

April 20, 2017 - 

The U.S. Navy is currently transitioning from its previous verification system to an improved identity authentication and force protection system, which is expected to take six months to complete, according to a report by San Diego Union Tribune.

The Navy Installations Command in Washington, D.C. ordered commanders to immediately begin switching over to the Defense Biometrics Identification Systems (DBIDS), which is currently being used for access gates at Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE).

The move comes nearly four years after a Department of Defense Inspector General report revealed that several convicted criminals gained unrestricted access to Navy bases, placing “military personnel, dependents, civilians and installations at an increased security risk.”

By July 15, all badge and decal offices in the continental United States, Hawaii and Guam must screen the backgrounds of all contractors and their employees routinely making unescorted trips to Navy bases for convicted crimes, active warrants and other misconduct.

DBIDS is a global database that facilitates the distribution of biometric data to guards manning the gates of a Navy base.

Using a hand-held wireless scanner, the guard scans the identification card’s barcode and/or the individual’s fingerprints to automatically identify the individual to verify whether he or she has authorized access to the base.

The system also notifies guards when an ID card is lost or stolen, flags individuals banned from the base, identifies counterfeit cards, and taps into criminal databases to check if the individual has had any past criminal charges.

The Navy will issue to qualified vendors a DBIDs paper pass that expires after 90 days, which will be subsequently replaced by DBIDS cards no later than October 12.

So far, there have been no problems with the initial roll out at the command’s 10 installations in California and Nevada, according to Navy Region Southwest security director Matthew Crews.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.