36th SFS gets a DBIDS security systems upgrade

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Akeem K. Campbell
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

On Sept. 17, 2023, the 36th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) received a Defense Biometric Identifications System (DBIDS) upgrade at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

DBIDS is a Department of Defense (DoD) identity authentication and force protection tool and it is commonly used throughout the U.S. military branches worldwide. For the U.S. Air Force, they are associated with DBIDS via the Air Force network.

“This base was long overdue for a DBIDS system upgrade,” said Staff Sgt. Antonial Swinson, 36th SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of installation access. “I think the last time they had an upgrade was seven years ago, and it was pretty evident that this was needed when the DBIDS scanners at the gates were a hit or miss on whether they were operational or not.”

Before the upgrade, the 36th SFS used a barment roster to identify who has access to the base, often slowing down the gate entry process. The 36th SFS were also using the U.S. Navy network, Public Safety (PS) Network to process identification data, however, any data that was being processed in the Pass & ID building or the Visitor Center were done so in a much slower rate. Due to having several technical issues, the 36th SFS pass and ID team felt the need to move to a different network.

“It was just too inconsistent,” Swinson said. “It would always either overload the servers or it would just disconnect whenever something would go wrong with the Naval Base Guam systems.”

Conducting this transition required connections, dedication, determination and teamwork to get through this obstacle.

“Getting in contact with the subject matter experts, who were in Virginia, was a challenge because there’s a time difference,” said Tech. Sgt. Kimberly Moore, 36th SFS NCO in charge of installation plans and programs. “It took a lot of emailing, long hours of phone calls and a lot of planning when trying to get the SMEs over to Guam.”

The 36th SFS pass and ID team also received assistance from members of Project ARC, an Air Force program that allows selected uniform members, who are knowledgeable in science, technology, engineering and math, to be temporarily assigned to other operational bases. They upgrade equipment that can impact and improve the installation’s mission Air Force wide.

“With their help, we were able to get off the PS Network and on to AF Network on the first day they arrived here,” Swinson said. “They were able to help us configure that system right then and there, and in the next couple of days we were able to conduct assessments on the equipment and network issues. Once we solved those problems and figured out what we needed to improve, it gave me the grounds I needed to push the Defense Manpower Data Center on giving us this much needed upgrade.”

With the new upgrade, the 36th SFS can now process identification data at a more efficient rate.

“It definitely cuts down our foot traffic in our offices,” Swinson said. “Now our base has the ability to achieve base access digitally and people can register for their DBIDS pass online with our new systems.”

This new security system upgrade also bolsters one of the 36th Wing priorities, to transform, by getting the right resources and support for the installation.

“I think this change is very important,” Swinson said.  “Base security is not only my top priority, but also the entire 36th SFS top priority and the DBIDS system is one of the main components of making sure that nobody unauthorized gets access to the base at all.”

If you are interested in retrieving a visitor or DBIDS pass, click on the link below.