Bar codes verify vehicles for entry to U.S. Navy Base
After the terrorist attacks to our nation on September 11, 2001, the U.S. Naval Air Station (NAS), located in Jacksonville, FL, initiated an extensive construction project to strengthen security throughout its grounds. Reigning as the third largest military base in the United States, the NAS sprawls over 3,800 acres, along the scenic shores of the Saint Johns River. More than 25,000 active-duty personnel and civilians work at the naval base, which includes a hospital, family service center, schools, restaurants, recreational complexes, and other facilities. Various aircraft are also docked at the site, along with a Naval Aviation Depot for repairing aeronautical components. The anti-terrorism upgrades focused on revamping the bases three entry gates, accessed by about 10,000 vehicles a day. Work crews widened roads, improved curbs, enhanced bullet-proof guard shelters, and added the latest access-control technology, ranging from intrusion detection systems to electronic pop-up barriers. Bar-code readers, designed for access control and automatic vehicle identification (AVI) were also installed. We have seven bar-code readers, one per lane, and they go 24/7, says Gary White, NAS physical security officer. The goal is to control access of vehicles during increased force protection conditions, to maintain security, and assure quicker personnel access. Boasting driver-friendly convenience and a weather-resistant enclosure, each bar-code reader can link with existing access-control systems or serve as a stand-alone device to control individual gates. An internal transaction log retains identification numbers of the last 2,000 vehicles passing through the gates, plus records the time and date of each passage. To gain access through the entrance gates, each vehicle sports a bar-coded AVI decal that verifies the vehicle. Made by Barcode Automation, Inc., based in Winter Springs, FL, the decals can be scanned by a companion reader from a distance of 6 ft. away, while vehicle travels up to 25 m.p.h. Once properly attached to the vehicles outside window glass, the decals cannot be photocopied, loaned, or lost. More than 56 colors of vehicle bar-code decals are available, as well as various sizes.