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Lance Cpl. Christian Ordaz, Security Battalion military police officer, scans an I.D. card with the RAPIDGate identification scanner aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. The near-instantaneous card scanner will improve security on the base and streamline access for commercial vehicles traveling onto the installation.

Photo by Ida Irby

RAPIDGate takes affect aboard Quantico

14 Apr 2016 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

Employees, residents and visitors coming aboard base can now expect to have their identification card scanned by security personnel using RAPIDGate scanners. Information linked to identification cards is checked immediately after being scanned. The system alerts security guards to people who may be on the installation debarrment list, terrorist watch lists, revocation/restricted driving privileges, and other lists and databases.

More than 200 vendors have registered in the RAPIDGate program this year, as indicated by Reyes Gonzales, Quantico Military Police service’s officer. Since January, base access procedures aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico have included the use of RAPIDGate access control system to screen drivers before they gain access onto the installation

“Automated access control systems are not new to the Marine Corps. Marine Corps Installations Command chose to deploy RAPIDGate as an interim solution, because until recently, the technology had not been developed that met all DoD guidelines,” said Pete Russett, director installation protection branch, Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region.

The Security Battalion provides a blended force of both civilian and military police officers who provide security at each access point on base. Even with access points fully staffed, drivers should expect delays at peak hours.

“As with any major change in vetting procedures at an installation, one can expect some initial delays in traffic as the new RAPIDGate system is rolled out. Since this is a new system, one can expect some sentry-related delays due to initial glitches using the handhelds related to software or user error,” said Maj. Justin Powell, Security Battalion provost marshal.

Aside from any software or sentry-related delays, Powell mentioned drivers can help keep traffic moving by having appropriate identification in hand and be ready to provide to it the sentry when they arrive at the gate.

“Over time, this process will become fairly smooth for all and RAPIDGate-related delays should become the exception and not the norm,” said Powell. “We are always looking to improve upon installation security and access control. RAPIDGate is another tool that will be used to provide greater vetting of personnel desiring access to MCB Quantico.”

There are no temporary passes available for non-RapidGate users. The base policy states that all commercial vehicles (box-truck size and larger) not enrolled in RAPIDGate, shall continue to utilize a one-time pass granted to each vehicle after completing a security inspection.

Operators of commercial vehicles can voluntarily apply for a RAPIDGate long-term access pass at the commercial vehicle inspection lot adjacent to the Ponderosa-Y Gate.

While the Department of Defense did not layout a specific timetable for a DoD-wide solution, there are federal regulations that require vetting and screening of personnel prior to entering any federal installation. Whether travelers are coming onto the base to visit the Town of Quantico or government facilities, a valid credential is required.

— Writer:
Marine Corps Base Quantico