JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Navy Region Southeast (NRSE) drivers will no longer be required to display a Department of Defense (DoD) vehicle decal to gain access to installations beginning July 1.
The change will be made to comply with a new commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) policy intended to enhance base security by providing electronic credentialing and increased scrutiny of authorized identification cards.
"Eliminating the DoD decals and implementing electronic credentialing will improve our security posture because it will allow our gate security personnel to more carefully scrutinize authorized identification cards without the added distraction of having to verify the decal," said Capt. Brett Calkins, Navy Region Southeast operations and plans officer.
In addition to enhancing security at the gate, the new policy will also work to protect Department of Defense personnel when they are off the base.
"You really never know where or when you are going to encounter terrorism," said Calkins. "Vehicle decals can be easily recognizable to those out there that would like to do our service members harm, so not having them on vehicles off base will help to lower visibility and, in essence, help protect our people from potential harm."
The new policy will also have a major impact on installation budgets, resulting in an estimated $750,000 in annual savings Navy-wide, as well as a drastic reduction in administrative tasks. Those savings will be diverted to critical anti-terrorism/force protection programs.
"First and foremost, this policy change is going to help us better protect personnel, but the financial benefits to not having stickers are obvious," said Bruce Toth, NRSE regional security officer. "Sticker costs can add up, especially when families have multiple vehicles and people are constantly buying and selling used vehicles - not to mention the manpower it takes to supply them. Our goal is to take those funds and reinvest them back into our force protection efforts."
The original purpose of the DoD decal, apart from base access, was to ensure that drivers on installations possessed a valid driver's license, proof of adequate insurance and a current state vehicle registration. While the decals are set for elimination next month, the requirement for vehicles to be registered with the installation security departments will continue. Personnel and residents that are permanently assigned to a Navy installation will in-process and out-process at the installation Pass and Identification Office.
According to the new CNIC policy, motorcycle operators safety requirements, barment control and enforcement of state licensing, registration, insurance and safety requirements will be enforced through random vehicle inspections and routine traffic enforcement.
"Our requirements will not change," said Toth. "Anyone operating a motor vehicle on base will still be required to carry proof of insurance and registration in accordance with their respective state law."
The policy change will take effect on board every CNIC installation July 1. Drivers who still need access to other service's installations, that may still require a decal, will be permitted to display the decal until it expires.
Under the new policy, base visitors will continue to use the normal visitor procedures established by the installation commanding officer.