The Defense Department has announced expanded commissary, Military Service Exchange and MWR access beginning Jan. 1, 2020, and established a standard for physical access to military installations.
Veterans and primary family caregivers who are eligible and want to take advantage of in-person benefits must have a Veterans Health Identification Card, or VHIC. Primary family caregivers must have an eligibility letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Community Care.
Veterans currently use VHICs for identification and check-in at VA appointments, but will also use them for base access under the new program.
Veterans eligible solely under this act who are eligible to obtain a VHIC must use this credential for in-person installation and privilege access. The card must display the veteran’s eligibility status (e.g., Purple Heart, former prisoner of war or military-service connected).
For veterans who are now eligible for DECA/AAFES/MWR privileges, here are the current procedures to gain access to Edwards Air Force Base:
Upon first entry, go to the Visitor Control Center:
* If eligible veteran with VHIC:
o Present VHIC with annotated eligibility, as well as second form of acceptable ID.
o Undergo vetting.
o After successful fitness determination, VCC will locally register the VHIC into DBIDS with a validity of 3 years.
o If VHIC is unable to be scanned, veteran will receive a DBIDS card.
* If eligible 8E veteran with H623A letter:
o Present H623A letter and acceptable ID.
o Undergo vetting.
o After successful fitness determination, VCC will locally register the REAL ID-compliant ID with a validity of 3 years.
o If no REAL ID-compliant ID is in possession, veteran will receive a DBIDS card.
* If caregiver with caregiver letter:
o Present caregiver letter and acceptable ID.
o If no REAL ID-compliant ID is in possession, caregiver will receive a DBIDS card.
* If accompanying guest:
(NOTE: Accompanying guests must always go to the VCC for a short-term pass.)
* Present acceptable ID.
* Undergo vetting.
* After successful fitness determination, VCC will issue a short-term DBIDS pass with validity for present trip only.
Upon next entry, go to the gate
* Present VHIC.
* Entry Controller will scan VHIC and advise.
* Present H623A letter/caregiver letter and REAL ID-compliant ID that was locally registered/DBIDS card.
* Entry Controller will scan ID/DBIDS card and advise.