Fort Gordon, located in Augusta, Georgia, is the most recent United States military installation to add extra background check security. Many other military outposts throughout the country have upped their security in recent years, requiring more rigid requirements for visitors, including family members or friends. Along similar lines, Fort Gordon is now calling for background checks of delivery workers and other private vendors, despite the fact that these individuals often have very limited and brief business within the base.
The new background check requirements will affect a wide range of businesses and vendors who make deliveries to Fort Gordon. From food delivery drivers, to shipping and mail carriers, to crews tasked with delivering furniture or installing new hardware. In short, anyone who visits the base for business purposes will be required to clear a background check. Contractors with longer-term work on the base are the exception, as they will be given clearances to avoid confusion.
Last fall, the Department of the Army called for all military installations to implement background checks for visitors. This new policy at Fort Gordon, which will go into full effect on June 1st, is the next step in the campaign to make bases safer and more secure. Fort Gordon will be running all background checks through the National Crime and Information Center, or the NCIC. The military holds these checks to be valid for a year, so delivery drivers who visit Fort Gordon frequently will not have to do a background check upon every single one of their visits. In fact, delivery workers won't have to do any sort of waiting at the gates of Fort Gordon.
Instead, the background check will be run ahead of time. Fort Gordon has asked the businesses that make deliveries to the base to submit a packet of information on each delivery worker who will be making visits to the base. In other words, the companies that do regular business at the base will choose two or three employees and have those people make all deliveries to Fort Gordon. The base will then know who to run background checks for, and will be able to issue access passes to the appropriate people. These passes must be renewed every 30 days.
While this process may seem like an inconvenience for local Augusta businesses at first, Fort Gordon has undoubtedly done its best in making sure that both sides are satisfied. On one end, the military base will have greater security going forward. Without background checks and access clearances for local businesses and vendors, someone impersonating a delivery driver could feasibly sneak onto the installation and do harm. On the other end, delivery drivers will be able to get clearances without having to wait for background checks to process, and without having to submit to a new check upon each individual visit.
Though the new background check policy will go into effect in June, Fort Gordon will do a "soft enforcement" of the rules starting on April 1st. In essence, the soft enforcement just means that officials at the Fort Gordon gates will remind delivery drivers and their businesses that they have to submit information for personnel background checks. Starting June 1st, delivery workers and other vendors will be turned away if they have not received background check clearance.