A top Fort Drum security official took time Friday to briefly update the community on gate traffic two weeks after a shift occurred in how access to the installation is granted.
“I’m very happy with the transition,” said Charles Childs, Physical Security Division chief. “Everybody seems to be adjusting well.”
On Feb. 1, gate guards began enforcing a policy that requires a DOD ID card for access to the installation. If no one in the vehicle possesses a DOD ID card, motorists wishing to enter Fort Drum are required to obtain a visitor’s pass at one of three gates: North Gate (Iraqi Freedom Drive), Gas Alley Gate (Oneida Avenue) or Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield Gate.
Visitors — except for foreign nationals — riding in a vehicle with an adult DOD ID card holder are not required to register.
Although uncommon, Soldiers and DA Civilians not in possession of their DOD ID cards have been turned around and required to be processed in as visitors, Childs said, because his office can’t immediately validate that such individuals have legitimate business on post.
“People who forget their ID card need to understand that we have no way of verifying that they have a reason to be here,” he said. “Unfortunately, processing them as visitors is the only avenue currently available to us.”
In such cases, Childs said people prefer the visitor’s pass process — even if it means driving to another gate — over waiting for someone from their chain of command to come to the gate to validate their status.
Army regulation requires all Soldiers to be in possession of their DOD ID cards at all times, he added.
In the end, Fort Drum community members are patient professionals, who understand the importance of security, he said.
“Most people know that those guards are our first line of defense,” Childs said. “Their job is to (help) keep everybody within the confines of this installation safe.”
To obtain a visitor’s pass, motorists must present a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and current vehicle registration. They also must explain the purpose and length of their visit. Passengers 18 and older must present a driver’s license or another form of government-issued photo ID.
Children 17 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Family members and loved ones of DOD ID card holders who think they require it may apply for a special long-term pass with the office of Physical Security. Contractors and vendors who regularly access the installation are not eligible for such passes.
For more information, call 772-3105.