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ID Card Equipment Upgrades: Short-term delays expected

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLA -- ID Card Equipment Upgrades: Short-term delays expected

By Chris Kraus
45th Force Support Squadron

Whether you are active duty, Guard, Reserve, a DoD civilian employee, contractor, retired military or a dependent, acquiring a new ID or CAC card is part of military life. 

Depending on the number of folks ahead of you in line, the process can be fast and painless, ­or frustrating if you experience a long wait. 

The wait will definitely be longer the week of Sept. 22- 25. That¹s because upgrades will be made to the equipment used to make those cards. 

"If possible, we highly encourage folks to avoid getting a card during that time frame," said Master Sgt. Linda Humphrey, NCOIC of the 45th Force Support Squadron¹s Military Personnel Section, Customer Support Element.

"We've got five machines that make the cards. Each one can make a card in 20 minutes."
 
That¹s 15 cards an hour. During the upgrade, we expect that number to drop significantly. 

On Sept. 22, the contractor performing the upgrades will immediately take three of our machines off-line. Those machines will be upgraded first. After they are upgraded they will go back on-line, and then the two remaining machines will be upgraded. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. That inconvenience can be avoided if you act fast. If you require a card during the upgrade, or any time for that matter, you can schedule an appointment by calling 321-494-6144/ 6147 about 20 days prior to the expiration date on your card. 

With a staff of just eight, the Customer Support Element not only provides ID and CAC card services, but is also responsible for in-processing new arrivals, managing the base' s leave, BAS, and SGLI programs, and issues passports. 

They are the only facility in the area that does this. Factor in that Florida has one of the largest military retiree populations in the U.S., and you can get an idea as to why the office is so busy. 

Besides scheduling an appointment, there are other things you can do to speed up the process. Bring proper identification. At least two forms of ID (one has to be a photo ID - your old ID or CAC card is acceptable) are required. Voter registration cards, Social Security cards and passports are other acceptable forms of identification. 

If you are a dependent, you need to get a new card every four years because of possible changes in your status. Your sponsor must be present to sign a DD Form 1172, or you must have a power of attorney. 

Also, be aware of the priority system. Active duty personnel in uniform have priority, followed by DoD civilians, contractors, and then all others. 

The office is open Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Anyone still waiting at closing time will be served. 

"Sometimes that means our staff is working until 6 p.m.," Sgt. Humphrey said. "But we don't mind; we'll do what it takes to get the job done and provide excellent service to our customers."