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How VHIC veterans, eligible caregivers can access Hill Air Force Base

A depiction of the front and back of a Veterans Health Identification Card, or VHIC.

The Defense Department announced expanded commissary, Military Service Exchange and MWR access for eligible military veterans and caregivers beginning Jan. 1, 2020. (Courtesy graphic.)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The Defense Department 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 can also use them for base access under the new program.

Veterans who are eligible to obtain a VHIC solely under this act 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). Access will not be granted if the eligibility status is not on the card.

For veterans who are now eligible for these new privileges, below are the current procedures to gain access to Hill Air Force Base.

Upon your first entry to the installation, eligible veterans and caregivers must stop at the South Gate Visitor Center to be registered. However, if your VHIC doesn't have a bar code or is unable to be scanned, you will need to get a new card from your local VA medical center before your card can be registered.

Once registered, you will receive a pass to proceed to Pass & ID at building 430 to receive a Defense Biometric Identification System, or DBIDS, card. The DBIDS card is valid for one year from the date of registration. The DBIDS card will be shown for base access. The VHIC card must be shown for services.

The South Gate Visitor Center hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Pass & ID hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. For service, log into the customer service kiosk and select Security Forces VHIC request.

As with all other individuals seeking access to DoD installations, all eligible veterans must pass a basic on-the-spot background check at the visitor center prior to enrolling, and an automated check each time they enter the installation.

Veterans with felony convictions, arrest warrants, or other types of derogatory information related to criminal history or terrorism will not be permitted entry. Misdemeanor drug charges in the last five years will preclude base access. Those who are denied due to criminal history can appeal to the 75th Mission Support Group commander. If the appeal is approved, an acceptance letter will be provided by the 75th MSG commander.

If you are an eligible veteran with a VHIC

• Present your VHIC annotating your eligibility, as well as second form of acceptable REAL ID. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license, U.S. passport or passport card, or other government ID.
• Undergo on-the-spot background check.
• After a successful check, your VHIC will be registered.
• You will be issued a pass to proceed to Pass & ID to receive a DBIDS card.

If you are an eligible 8E veteran with a H623A letter

• Present your H623A letter and an acceptable form of REAL ID. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license, U.S. passport or passport card, or other government ID.
• Undergo on-the-spot background check.
• After a successful check, your acceptable form of ID will be registered.
• You will be issued a pass to proceed to Pass & ID to receive a DBIDS card.

If you are a caregiver with a caregiver letter

• Present your caregiver letter and acceptable REAL ID. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license, U.S. passport or passport card, or other government ID.
• You will be issued a pass to proceed to Pass & ID to receive a DBIDS card.
• The DBIDS will expire Dec. 31 the year of the letter expiration.

If you are a guest accompanying an eligible veteran or caregiver

• Accompanying guests must always stop at the visitor center to request a short-term pass and are not authorized to use any services.
• Present an acceptable REAL ID. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license, U.S. passport or passport card, or other government ID.
• Undergo an on-the-spot background check.
• After a successful check, you will be issued a short-term pass for the current visit only.

Once registered, veterans and caregivers will be able to access the installation on subsequent visits by presenting their DBIDS ID to the sentry at one of the base’s gates.

For more information, call 801-586-2360.