Friday, April 19, 2013

AMC activates electronic program for base visit requests

by Ed Shannon
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

4/19/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Air Mobility Command officials will implement an online program next week to streamline the approval process for official visitors and sponsored guests at AMC active duty bases, according to Maj. Elizabeth Taillon, AMC Gatekeeper.

When activated, the Electronic Gatekeeper (E-GK) program, designed through a partnership between the AMC Inspector General and Communications directorates, represents the sole method for requesting an external visit to any AMC active duty base and a more efficient method of tracking inspection and non-inspection activities, including visits, Taillon said.

Officials plan for the new system to 'go live' April 22, improving upon a labor-intensive process to log, track and deconflict visits. The current method involves Excel spreadsheets and a large amount of 'back and forth' email traffic.

"Leaning forward, this is the best, most innovative tool to make this process more efficient," Taillon said. "The E-GK tool is a one-stop shop because once a customer or potential visitor submits a request, it generates automated emails to the base gatekeeper, AMC gatekeeper and the requestor. Gone are the days of arduous email exchanges because the new system improves communication involved with visit request coordination."

Grand Forks, MacDill, and Travis Air Force Bases participated in a three-month test pilot program beginning in April 2012. Officials at the three bases raved about benefits of the new program.

"The new system provides commanders at all levels greater visibility of visits and non-normal day-to-day activities going on at the base," said Lt. Col. Brian Mahoney, Grand Forks AFB Installation Inspector General. "It creates better and more formalized communication within the inspection and visit notification process and ensures my wing commander is aware of all activities going on at the base."

In addition to better visibility to the number and types of visitors at AMC bases, Dan Johnson, chief of the Plans and Programs Directorate and primary gatekeeper at Travis AFB, said the program delivers a much smarter way for AMC to conduct business.

"The bottom line is we need to work smarter, and we find this new process very useful," Johnson said.

Larry Cresswell, MacDill AFB Exercises and Inspections chief, said he is a 'staunch supporter' of Electronic Gatekeeper.

"E-Gatekeeper is a force multiplier," he said. "The new process is 100 percent more efficient than the old process."

Customers will experience huge benefits with the system, according to Master Sgt. Ben Parish, AMC deputy gatekeeper.

"No matter day or night, the program can be accessed by potential visitors from anywhere in the world," Parish said. "This system takes a manual labor intensive process and automates it. Customers simply input request information in fields that are easy to navigate. Once the information is loaded, one click activates the coordination process. They can check back in the system for the status of the request, too."

According to Taillon, Maj. Scott Lewis, who served as AMC Gatekeeper at the time, worked with AMC Communications Directorate officials in 2011 to develop the E-GK tool.

With a project that began approximately four years ago, the team invested more than 300 hours into the project and see a positive impact on the gatekeeper program, through which AMC active duty bases receive more than 700 visits annually, Taillon said.

She anticipates reduction in the amount of work required to manage the gatekeeper program by two-thirds.

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