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AF approves elimination of vehicle decals for base entry

Airman Brandon L. Owens, 11th Security Forces Squadron, checks an ID card at Bolling's south gate May 7. A representative from the National Crime Prevention Council will be at the technology center May 14 at 1 p.m. to discuss tips on staying safe on the Internet and avoiding identity theft. The 11th Security Forces Squadron hosts this event in honor of police week, May 14 through 18. For more information, call Staff Sgt. Jana McClintock at (202) 767-8949. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dan DeCook)

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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Beginning Aug. 1, those with valid military identification cards will no longer need to have decals on their vehicles to get on base.

Drivers will continue to provide a valid Department of Defense identification card to be scanned at the gate before entry. The scanner system, implemented in November 2006, checks a variety of ID cards, pulling information from 140 data bases to obtain information about the person trying to enter the base.

The Air Force gave installations the option to do away with the Department of Defense Vehicle Registration Decal, DD Form 2220 for the sake of security, said Larry Prichard, 30th Security Forces Squadron Pass and Registration office.

While it's not mandatory for drivers to remove the decals, basic anti-terrorism force protection training teaches that terrorists historically look for military targets. An enemy could tell a car belongs to a servicemember by the decal.

"A decal could make you a target," said Maj. Antonius Spangler, 30th SFS deputy commander. "If you don't need the decal, you would be safer to scrape it off."

Besides ATFP, another advantage will be a decrease in traffic at the visitor control center.

"This will definitely be more convenient," Mr. Prichard said. "Now there won't be any stopping at the VCC, and people with authorized access can come on base easier."

The Air Force is the only military branch to do away with the decals. Those who need the DD Form 2220 for access to another service's base, like camps Pendleton or Roberts, can leave their decal on their car. They can also renew or acquire new decals through pass and registration.