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SJAFB to discontinue registering POVs and issuing decals

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- In an effort to save critical Air Force funds and to streamline administrative processes, Air Combat Command has determined it is no longer necessary to issue the DD Form 2220, vehicle registration decal, to its personnel. 

"Effective February 16, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will discontinue registration of privately owned vehicles," said Maj. Grant Hargrove, 4th Security Forces Squadron commander. "The Visitor's Center will not issue any more decals, but they will still offer visitor's passes to those who are not in possession of the Department of Defense identification card, which will be the primary proof of authorization to enter the installation." 

The issue of handicap decals and rank insignia to generals, colonels, and chiefs will also be discontinued under this initiative. 

After September 11th, security at all Department of Defense installations was modified to require 100 percent identification card checks of drivers at installation gates. The use of vehicle decals for entry authorization has become redundant since ID card checks are arguably more effective. Security Forces also have access to the Division of Criminal Information (DCI) system where they can pull all pertinent driver and vehicle information with a quick computer query using the vehicle's license plate number. 

Vehicle decals are also a force protection vulnerability. They easily highlight military personnel while driving outside the installation and make them a potential target for domestic terrorists.

As for visitors, contractors and other non-DoD personnel, the process will not change. Visitors will continue to follow the entry procedures established at the installation. "This process will be seamless to our base personnel," said Mr. Oris Bishop, Security Forces Administration Superintendent. "Actually, it will save them time by not having to run around to get decals." 

Personnel driving on the installation are still required to have in their possession proof of current vehicle registration, a valid state driver's license, a valid record of motor vehicle safety inspection, and proof of current vehicle insurance. Air Force Security Forces will check for compliance with all of these requirements, randomly at the installation gates and during traffic enforcement. 

Motorcycle riders will now have one additional requirement when entering the installation. "The vehicle decal was proof the rider had passed the motorcycle safety course," said Mr. Bishop. "Now that the decals have been discontinued, motorcycle operators will need to present their Air Force Form 483, Certificate of Competency, along with their ID card when they are entering the installation." 

Decals are an expensive duplication/redundancy of state registration and licensing. The Air Force spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just on procuring the decals and countless resources on issuing them. With 1.66 million Air Force registered vehicles, each renewed every three years, the costs to administer this system are enormous. In fiscal year 05 alone, the Air Force spent $727K simply to print decals. 

"Discontinuing the issue of base decals will not degrade the security of the installation's entry control program and will not put the base at risk" said Maj. Hargrove. "It will only streamline processes within the Security Forces Administration section at a significant cost savings to the Air Force." 

However, challenges are expected for our people attempting to enter other service military installations. Without decals, they may be required to get a visitor's pass. "If you have a vehicle decal and it is still current, you can leave it on your vehicle. Once it expires, it needs to be removed and drivers who frequently visit other service installations may want to consider registering their vehicle at that installation, if allowed to do so," said Mr. Bishop. 

Seymour Johnson is not the first base to implement this new policy. Hill AFB UT, stopped registering vehicles in June 2006 and Robins AFB GA, ceased on 5 February 2007. 

For more information contact the Security Forces Visitor's Center at 722-1343.
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