Fort Bragg has begun testing its new automated entry system, which is part of a postwide security overhaul meant to cut down on wait times at entry gates while boosting security.
A computer will then help guards confirm the card user’s identity and ensure that he is allowed on post.
Fort Bragg implemented new gate policies last month, but officials had held off on using the automated entry system.
According to officials, the system went online at 5 a.m. Tuesday in select lanes at Fort Bragg gates.
“We have posted several variable message boards at the (automated entry) locations informing the public the testing procedures are taking place in select lanes,” said Mickey McQuain, Fort Bragg’s chief of physical security.
Most troops, employees and others with military ID near Fort Bragg have been automatically uploaded into the system, but officials said some cardholders may not have been included.
On Friday, officials said soldiers and other Department of Defense ID card holders should not report to the All American Visitor Center if their card is denied at the machine.
McQuain apologized to those cardholders who had been sent to the visitors center and said that no cardholder should be denied entry to Fort Bragg during the testing phase.
Fort Bragg will slowly increase use of the system over the next 30 days, officials said.
Last month, visitors to Fort Bragg faced gridlock in the early days of the first phase of security changes.
Visitors without ID cards, including contractors, were required to reregister for new passes onto post. Some reported waiting for several hours.
But officials said the lines improved and the post was safer because of the new procedures, which require fingerprinting, photographing and criminal background checks on post visitors.
After the first few days of the new procedures, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson said 96 felons were stopped at Fort Bragg’s gates.
Felons and anyone with three or more misdemeanor convictions within three years – excluding traffic offenses – have long been barred from Fort Bragg, but security has not previously had a way to check to make sure the rules were being followed.
Officials said contractors and others were warned to register before the measures went into effect. About 4,000 contractors were registered early.
Each day, Fort Bragg has roughly 76,000 people enter one of its 12 gates.
The new passes are available around the clock at the All American Visitor Center. Commercial vehicles can get passes at the Knox Street Truck Plaza.