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Access Control: Doing Business at Fort Meade

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If you provide services to, or do business with, Fort Meade customers, ensuring you and your employees are pre-registered to access the installation can save your company a considerable amount of time and money.

A business owner or designated manager can begin the process by filling out a Fort Meade Installation Access Request, otherwise known as an FGGM Form 191-001-R-E, which can be found at www.ftmeade.army.mil. The form must be completed and dropped off at the Demps Visitor Control Center (VCC), 902 Reece Road, Odenton; it takes about 10 days for the vetting process to be completed.

Once the owner or designated manager is vetted and cleared, s/he then can have his or her employees who frequently do business on the installation vetted and cleared as well.

Fort Meade personnel reached out to all local businesses and organizations that have a history of working with the installation to notify them of the new procedures. In addition, Anne Arundel and Howard county chambers of commerce also were contacted by post officials about getting the word out.

Businesses such as food delivery outfits, florists, taxi and transportation services, contractors, cleaners, repair companies and pet sitters are impacted by the access policy changes.

“We’ve reached out to all of the businesses we historically have known — the pizza delivery chains, the taxi services that frequent the gate,” said Deputy Robert Holmes of the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES). “But if a business contacts us that we don’t know about and we can confirm they are doing business on Fort Meade, we have no problem with that. Once we are aware there’s a business connection, the owner or manager can work with us to get their employees badged.”

Get Verified

Because of the volume of businesses in the region that interact with post residents and employees, Holmes said it is impossible to contact every business that might seek access. He said it’s incumbent on residents, Department of Defense (DoD)contract workers or businesses in the area to request access and get the vetting process rolling for their companies and employees. “Once the business is verified, then the business owner can contact DES or VCC [about having employees vetted],” he said.

Visiting workers seeking post access must show two forms of identification, such as a valid driver’s license, and another form of identification, including a Social Security card; an original or copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county or municipal authority; or a U.S. passport.

“If a visiting worker is not already vetted, a post resident or DoD employee can go to the gate and serve as the official escort for the worker,” said Holmes.

Ahead of Time

However, arrangements for meeting and escorting onto post should be made ahead of time. Even if escorted, the worker still will be required to show photo identification that complies with the Real ID Act to a security guard at the gate; if the visitor does not have the proper identification or if a background check indicates anything of concern, that person will not be allowed on post.

Anyone who escorts non-vetted visitors is responsible for that visitor at all times while he or she is on post, said Holmes.

“Either you come on post and get a badge, get a day pass, or you’re escorted. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “We are currently checking about 500 people a day, so there’s only one or two times a day when there’s really any question.

“It’s incumbent on business owners and managers to ensure their employees are vetted ahead of time,” Holmes said. “If it’s a one-time event they can be escorted, but it can save a lot of time and energy to be pre-vetted. If you have to be escorted, you will be escorted both on and off the base.”

When the VCC is closed, residents or DoD employees will be required to vouch for visitors. But if the visitor is expected to come frequently to the post, Holmes said the best solution is for business owners and designated managers to contact the VCC to start the vetting process.

At Every Post

Holmes says the new procedures take some extra effort, but the changes are happening across the Army, not just at Fort Meade.

“Please cooperate with the VCC personnel,” he said. “It will make things smoother and quicker. We will vet visitors as quickly as possible. This is all to keep our installation secure and safe.”

For information about gaining access for visiting business enterprises, call the VCC at 301-677-1064

For a list of acceptable identification, visit bit.ly/1Wq88ar.