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Robins Visitor Control Center base’s first line of defense

Airmen sitting

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GA. – Senior Airman Seth Vonderhuevel, 78th Security Forces Squadron visitor control center clerk, conduct a background check at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 14, 2021. The visitor control center approves passes to visitors, contractors, dignitaries and people requiring access to restricted areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Foster Johnson)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Security is first and foremost for the 78th Security Forces Squadron Airmen who work at the Robins Air Force Base Visitor Control Center in Georgia.

“We are the frontline, that first line of security to protect the base,” said Staff Sgt. Veronica Stewart, 78th SFS visitor center assistant noncommissioned officer in charge.

Two Airmen talking
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GA. – Staff Sgt. Veronica Stewart, 78th Security Forces Squadron visitor control center assistant noncommissoned officer in charge, processes a restricted area access badge for an Airman at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 14, 2021. The visitor control center approves passes to sponsored guests, contractors and dignitaries daily. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Foster Johnson)
Two Airmen talking
Robins Visitor Control Center base’s first line of defense
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GA. – Staff Sgt. Veronica Stewart, 78th Security Forces Squadron visitor control center assistant noncommissoned officer in charge, processes a restricted area access badge for an Airman at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 14, 2021. The visitor control center approves passes to sponsored guests, contractors and dignitaries daily. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Foster Johnson)
Photo By: Kisha Foster Johnson
VIRIN: 210714-F-MW167-1893
“Everyone that wants access to the base must receive a background check. No exceptions. This is one way we stop potential threats to the installation.”

If any red flags were to pop up during the background check, such as past convictions, a person will be denied access to the base.

Stewart said each day hundreds of people walk into the visitor’s center trying to gain entry to the base for a variety of reasons.  

“Newly hired contractors come here for short-term passes until they get their permanent identification badge, or someone accompanying a base employee will need a pass,” she said.

And, at times, it can be stressful.

“I believe all customer service jobs can be frustrating because you are dealing with all types of people,” Stewart said. “It’s a mix of personalities with different needs and requests. So, in some cases, if things don’t go the way the customer wants, we have to deal with a bad attitude.

“I’d like people to know we have rules to follow and it is not about trying to give someone a hard time. We can’t bend the rules because it may be inconvenient for you,” she added.

This section of the 78th SFS is operated by a small group of people both active duty and civilian.

One of those team members is Senior Airman Seth Vonderhuevel, 78th SFS visitor center  clerk. In addition to helping out at the front desk, he is responsible for keeping the card readers at the gate functioning.

“The devices the gate guards use to scan ID cards is another line of defense,” said Vonderhuevel. “Those hand-held devices let us know the person holding that card has been vetted, verified, and cleared to be on the base. There are people who think we are here to make their day harder, and that’s not true. My job is to get you through the gates and if you can give me what I need, I can give you what you need.

“At the end of the day, this is a military installation and protecting it and the people inside is priority number one,” he added.

Robins Visitors Center frequently asked questions:

Q: What documents are required to obtain a pass for Robins Air Force Base?

A: All visitors must have a current driver’s license or state identification card, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.

Airmen standing
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GA. - Senior Airman Seth Vonderhuevel, 78th Security Forces Squadron visitor control center clerk, troubleshoots the Defense Biometric Identification System device, which is used to check common access cards at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 14, 2021. The DBIDS hand-held devices are used at all gates of entry. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Foster Johnson)
Airmen standing
Robins Visitor Control Center base’s first line of defense
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GA. - Senior Airman Seth Vonderhuevel, 78th Security Forces Squadron visitor control center clerk, troubleshoots the Defense Biometric Identification System device, which is used to check common access cards at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 14, 2021. The DBIDS hand-held devices are used at all gates of entry. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Foster Johnson)
Photo By: Kisha Foster Johnson
VIRIN: 210714-F-MW167-1874
Q: Can I get someone else to sponsor me?

A: Only valid Department of Defense ID cardholders are authorized to sponsor visitors onto Robins AFB. This includes active duty military, retirees, Reservists, National Guard and their family members or a civilian DOD employee.

Those who are not authorized to sponsor visitors:

-Contractors

-Civilian Retiree cardholders

-Non-DOD Personal Identity Verification holders

-Transportation Worker Identification Credential holders

-DOD Privilege cardholders

-Veterans Identification cardholders

-Foreign national affiliates with a DOD common access card

-Local pass and cardholders

Q: What service are provided at the Robins Visitors Center?

A: -Short-Term/Long-Term Visitor Passes Defense Biometric Identification System pass/card

     -Contractor Badges

     -Student ID

     -Out-Processing for civilian and military

     -Veteran’s Health ID Card Registration

     -Gold Star Family Member Program

     -Entry Authorization Lists