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Guards began scanning Common Access Cards on Monday, but that’s just the beginning of a road that leads to fast-pass lanes and quicker access to the installation, according to Director of Operations Ron Thomas.

Thomas announced Thursday that Redstone was participating in a pilot program for the Automated Installation Entry System version four.

“We’re going to build this airplane in flight, and we are going to seek to make the process as transparent as possible,” Garrison Commander Col. Kelsey Smith said. “I expect that the lines and the queuing out there on Redstone, specifically Gate 9, are going to get shorter for all of us.

“We brought some great technologies to bear and I thank the Army for doing that.”

Training and installation of the new system began earlier in July and phase 2 began July 27.

AIE4 includes a number of upgrades that are designed to make the installation more secure and allow easier access to the installation. The upgrades include handheld scanners that are linked to a database of people who have access to Redstone and eventually RFID lanes that will allow people to go through the gates, at about 5 mph, without stopping.

“You may have been on a on a highway or an interstate or a toll road, that as you proceed through this particular area, it captures your data, acknowledges who you are, and you move forward,” Thomas said. “That’s very similar to what ours is going to look like here.

“We’re not going to be doing it at 50 miles an hour. I promise you, that won’t work out for us.”

Before the installation gets to RFID lanes and scanners, it needs to build a new database of people who have access to the installation.

That’s what happening now during phase 2.

When the guards scan a Department of Defense issued ID, like CACs, retiree and dependent cards, it loads the information associated with that card into the new database.

“We’re not at the point where we’re going to ask you hand over your ID card,” Thomas said. “We’re still going to be very COVID-sensitive, but we will ask you to display in such a manner that we have the ability to scan that card.”

At the same time, Garrison personnel are working with the other tenants like Marshall Space Flight Center and the Department of Justice to incorporate their employees into the database by importing the data from their host organizations.

People who hold visitor badges and nonfederal contractors will have to register in person for the new database at the Visitor Control Center located outside of Gate 9. The Garrison will announce when the Visitor Control Center will be ready to process those patrons.

Those badges will be honored until they expire.

The goal is to start vetting people who access the installation with the AIE4 system by Sept. 1.

At the same time, the Garrison plans to begin to install and test the RFID system that will allow for the fast-pass lanes.

Everything should be fully operational by Oct. 1. More information will be available via Team Redstone and the Rocket’s social media channels and website as it becomes available.

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