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Vehicle decals no longer required at CAFB

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- As of March 1, Columbus AFB personnel will no longer have to register privately owned vehicles on base. To gain access onto the installation, Security Forces will require the operator/passengers to present valid military or civilian employee identification. Furthermore, the Air Force will discontinue all POV vehicle registration as of March 15. The expense and administrative burden are not justified by the benefits. In Fiscal Year 2004 and 2005, the Air Force spent approximately $364,000 and $738,000 respectively to print DD Form 2220s. On a typical AF installation, registration requires about 15 minutes per vehicle. The AF currently has 1.66 million registered vehicles, each requiring renewal at least every three years. Additionally, the DD Form 2220 decal adversely impacts security and force protection.
Following Sept. 11, 2001, CJCS mandated 100 percent identification of all vehicle operators entering DoD installations, making the decal superfluous as a security device. Registration and use of decals are an expensive duplication of state registration processes.
Below are some questions and answers to assist the public in understanding how and why this action is being implemented. If you need further assistance, please contact Master Sgt. Mark Olson at Ext. 7120 or Master Sgt. Dave Rogers at Ext. 2576.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Q: Why would the Air Force eliminate DD Forms 2220 and base registration?

A: After Sept. 11, 2001, security at all Department of Defense installations require 100 percent ID card checks of drivers at the installation gates. The use of vehicle decals is redundant since ID card checks are arguably more effective verifying the authority of a driver to enter the base.
Vehicle decals are a force protection vulnerability. They are easily counterfeited, moved from one car to another or found in used car parking lots. Additionally, when an installation gate sentry is focusing on vehicle decals, it hinders proper scrutiny of vehicle occupants, which is a key vulnerability.
Lastly, the 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.

2. Q: What will I use instead to enter Air Force Installations?

A: The Department of Defense ID card will be the primary proof of authorization to enter AF installations. Gate sentries will utilize, but are not limited to: valid driver's license, insurance and registration for ID verification.

3. Q: Will visitors be affected by this?

A: No, visitors will continue to follow the entry procedures established at each Air Force installation.

4. Q: Does this mean that commissioned officers will not be saluted?

A: After checking the ID card, military gate sentries will render salutes as appropriate when force protection and traffic conditions permit.

5. Q: Will I have to remove the decal I already have on my car?

A: We recommend that vehicle owners remove decals from their vehicles when this change is effective. This will avoid advertising the driver's Department of Defense affiliation while off base, which could be of interest to potential terrorists, criminals or foreign intelligence operatives. However, drivers who frequently drive onto the installations of other services might want to leave their decals on their cars until the Department of Defense eliminates the use of vehicle decals for all Services. (See Question 8.)

6. Q: Will I still have to comply with requirements for insurance, state registration, safety inspections, etc?

A: Yes. Air Force Security Forces will check for compliance with all of these requirements, randomly at the installation gates and during traffic enforcement. Motorcycle operators will still need to comply with base safety standards and have required training before being allowed to ride on AF installations.

7. Q: What about the other Services (Army, Navy and Marine) - are they making this change as well?

A: Not at this time. The Air Force is taking the lead in this initiative. The other Services are interested in the Air Force proposal and ongoing efforts are being made to work with the DoD.

8. Q: How will I be able to drive onto sister Service bases without a decal?

A: Air Force drivers will have to comply with the entry requirements of each particular installation. This might require getting a visitor's pass. Drivers who frequently visit other Service installations may want to consider registering their vehicle at that installation, if allowed to do so.

9. Q: Have some Air Force installations implemented this initiative already?

A: Yes, Hill AFB, Utah, stopped registering vehicles in June 2006 and Robins AFB, Ga., ceased Feb. 5.

10. Q: How is this being done at some installations before it is effective Air Force wide?

A: Air Force installation commanders have the authority to locally assess the costs and benefits of registering vehicles and issuing decals.