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Robins set to discontinue vehicle decals in February

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Starting Feb. 5, Robins employees will say goodbye to vehicle registration decals.

In September 2001, the Air Force implemented 100 percent identification card checks to access installations. After a comprehensive discussion of the local threat, the risk and the capabilities, Robins leadership directed this measure accordingly with the base's force protection condition, or FPCON; currently Robins is in FPCON Alpha.

Tech. Sgt. Lisa Gonzalez, noncommissioned officer in charge of pass and registration in the 78th Security Forces Squadron, said while the removal of the decal requirement isn't yet implemented Air Force-wide, other bases like Hill Air Force Base, Utah, have already implemented a similar initiative.

"The reason is ever since 9/11, the FPCON dictates we will conduct 100 percent identification checks, which is a more advanced security measure than just vehicle registration," she said.

While base employees and their dependents will no longer be issued a vehicle registration decal, otherwise known as a DD Form 2220, they will still need to present their base identification cards when entering Robins' gates, the sergeant said.

In accordance with Air Force Instruction 31-204, Air Force Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, all motorists must also ensure their vehicles are registered with the state and have valid insurance. All vehicles stopped while driving on base can be checked for appropriate documents, according to the 78th SFS.

Furthermore, motorcycle operators will be required to present their ID card and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation card. In addition, new students who have not taken the course and are registered will receive an appointment letter from the 78 Air Base Wing Safety Office. This appointment letter must be signed and dated by the appropriate authority, a supervisor or commander. Those riders scheduled to attend the MSF course will be required to show the signed letter and their ID card in order to allow access on the installation. This should be accomplished no earlier than three days prior to the class start date.

Visitors will continue to be sponsored on the installation and will obtain a visitor's pass (AF Form 75), Sergeant Gonzalez said.

With the loss, come sizeable gains.

"The greatest impact and what we've calculated that we'll be gaining is almost 23,000 production work hours, because individuals will no longer have to wait," Sergeant Gonzalez said. "With that many work hours saved, we'll be actually increasing productivity with every organization and a projected $790,000 return to duty sections."

In addition, Sergeant Gonzalez said Robins anticipates a projected $35,000 savings in equipment and decal stock and $100,000 savings in overhire positions that will no longer be needed in 78th Security Forces pass and registration section.

According to 78th SFS, the elimination of decals removes an obvious indicator that a vehicle's owner is a DOD person and increases off-base force protection. It also reduces the risk of unauthorized individuals' attempt to use a vehicle with a decal to access an installation.

Sergeant Gonzalez said people may leave the decals on their vehicles or remove them with glass cleaner and a razor blade. However, people must remove the decals before selling their vehicles, the sergeant said.

Until the Department of Defense implements the initiative, people who have removed vehicle registration decals from their vehicles may be required to obtain visitor passes when visiting other DOD installations.

For more information on the discontinuation of vehicle decals, contact Tech. Sgt. Lisa Gonzalez, NCOIC of pass and registration in the 78th Security Forces Squadron, at 222-1924.