By COL. BRUCE JENKINS
Many have noticed significant changes at the Chaffee (Main) Gate on Fort Knox in recent months. Our Welcome Center will soon reopen and serve as a true information hub—much like what you would see at a rest stop in Kentucky, but even better in my estimation. We also have a 300-foot long brick wall—complete with a water feature—that includes each major on-post organization’s insignia.
Improvements like these are being made as part of the overall effort to make Fort Knox more user-friendly to all patrons, more illustrative in terms of the many missions performed here, and to enhance the overall appear-ance of the installation.
There’s also another major change at the gate, albeit one that most haven’t noticed. It involves our gate entry processes. And in fact, this change has already been in place at every gate for about the last two months.
This change involves the use of a screening system called All-Star, which has allowed our Directorate of Emergency Services to improve the security of the installation, while also simplifying the process by which visitors can gain installation entry.
The All-Star system is the first of its kind on any Army installation, and it allows for thorough, yet quick and easy screenings of all Fort Knox visitors without a Department of Defense ID card. The end result is All-Star has cut out the need for visitors to park their vehicles and enter the visitor center to request a vehicle pass—a process that sometimes took several minutes. Moreover, All-Star uses technology that helps DES more effectively identify those trying to enter the installation with significant criminal backgrounds or undesirable histories on military bases.
Those who enter post using a Department of Defense ID card probably haven’t had any idea of this gate entry procedure change because it hasn’t affected their drive time up to and through the gates.
For Fort Knox, this is a win-win situation, and one that I believe is a best practice across our Army. It’s also my belief that our model for gate entry procedures will be adopted by other installations in the coming years; that’s how much I credit the All-Star system and our DES staff who worked to help develop and implement this system.
Working to make our post a better place to live, train, serve and play—one Soldier, one Civilian, and one Family member at a time. Defend and Serve!