U.S. naval air station uses smart access control solution from SALTO Systems

Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base or NAS Fort Worth JRB, formally Carswell AFB, is a military airfield located five miles (8 km) west of the central business district of Fort Worth, Texas.

The base, which is under the operational oversight of the Commander, Navy Installations Command, is a joint defense facility which plays a pivotal role in the training and equipping of air crews and aviation ground support personnel. The Fort Worth "joint team" ensures military Reservists and Guardsmen receive quality training in preparation for mobilization readiness, its primary purpose being to ensure the defense readiness of America.

Several Navy headquarters and operational units are based at NAS Fort Worth JRB, including two aviation squadrons, intelligence commands and Seabees. The Air Force Reserve Command's Tenth Air Force headquarters and the 301st Air Force Fighter Wing are based at the installation, as well as the 136th Airlift Wing of the Texas Air National Guard. The 14th Marine Regiment, the 8th Marine District and Marine Air Group 41, along with a Marine F/A-18 and KC-130 squadron call NAS Fort Worth JRB home. Army aviaiton units are the most recent additions to the installation.

The base's runway is also used by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, as their large Fort Worth assembly facility (where the F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mitsubishi F-2, F-22A Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning II are built) is located adjacent to the base.

With such a large facility, there are approximately 4,000 full time military and civilian employees, along with another 7,000 Reservists and Guardsmen stationed at the base, security is a key consideration. Controlling access to and within the base therefore is critical and to address these requirements NAS Fort Worth turned to SALTO Systems, a leading global provider of advanced technology access control solutions.

Mission

With military facilities across the US remaining on high alert due to the on-going terrorist threat, protecting the base and its associated support structure and housing complex is a critical mission. To achieve this, the base employs a multilayered security measures approach beginning with perimeter protection and moving inwards to the core facilities. This creates a much stronger overall security system

As part of the on-going process to continually monitor, review and improve this system the Naval Air Station recently received federal funding to upgrade the access control capabilities at its base housing complex, and replace the outdated magstripe locks with new wireless electronic smart locks.

Defining exactly what equipment was required and what functionality would be needed from it was dependant on the following considerations:

- Complex Size: With NAS Fort Worth's base housing facilities extending to hundreds of doors
across 11 buildings, controlling access would be a major undertaking.

- Multi-Factor Authentication: Ensuring access was restricted to authorized only personnel
meant that some type of multi-factor authentication was necessary.

- Secure Credentials: Secure authentication capabilities were needed at the credential level. The
credential selected for use at NAS Fort Worth would need to be secure and reliable.

- Scalable Solution: The system selected to replace the magstripe locks would need to be
scalable so that other areas within the base could be upgraded to the same technology in a
seamless fashion as future funding allowed.

- Latest Technology: In order to provide best Dollar value and ensure security was not
compromised, NAS Fort Worth would need the latest in wireless proximity access control
technology.

Result

Based on the above the winner of the contract was K & L Contractors, a local construction and security specialist based in Fort Worth with experience of working on military projects. They specified the SALTO XS4 RFID system and subsequently configured and installed 1,145 of the locks into the base housing as well as fitting 15 'Wall Reader Points' for key card updating.

Commenting on the project, Adrian Lopez, President of K & L Contractors, said, "We are delighted to have won this prestigious contract with the Navy and thanks to our business partner relationship with SALTO Systems, to have been able to install their XS4 access control solution. This product is a huge improvement on the previous equipment and has greatly enhanced security capability at the base.

SALTO was chosen for its ability to manage an unlimited number of doors and users in a single system as well as for its SVN software features as the base was especially interested in being able to remotely update and encode their key cards (4k Mifare cards) due to the logistical challenges faced on such a large facility. They had experienced many issues with their incumbent system, and one of their greatest problems was the lack of support from their previous lock supplier. This has been resolved through us being locally based to ensure we can service and maintain the system for the base, and this has eased their concerns about after installation support.

The XS4 locks have been retro-fitted to existing doors in the bachelor quarters housing complex and right from the start key card control was paramount so the installation specification called for the latest in RFID electronic locking systems to ensure the base had total control over who was able to access what, where and when at all times. Backing this up was the equally important requirement to have real time full audit trail capability to provide 24/7 critical security management protection".

Solution in place

Smart, secure and innovative, XS4 provides a totally wire free networked electronic locking solution. It is designed around state-of-the-art RFID electronics that use distributed intelligence to pass information between microprocessors in the electronic handle set and the key card.

Besides the electronic door hardware, the heart of NAS Fort Worth's new access control system is its SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) software. This enables locks and key cards to be updated remotely and access profiles to be changed rapidly adding real value to the access management of the base. It also eliminates the physical restrictions of traditional stand alone electronic locks and can seamlessly integrate with other third party systems to allow key cards and locks to be updated,
restricted or deleted remotely.

The 'smart' key cards build up 'on-card' audit trails through normal use giving complete control over access and enabling them to track movement through both the off-line and on-line parts of the system if required. This enables a complete access profile of each individual to be established and updated as necessary at the updating or 'hot spot' wall reader points.

Any key cards that get lost or stolen can be quickly and simply deleted from the system by visiting the readers with up-dated cards. The system also reduces the number of visits necessary to off-line doors, since user data is simply transferred on cards by normal use. This eliminates the traditional need to replace locks if security is breached due to the loss or theft of a key card.

Conclusion

"Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base's housing complex is now more secure," says Stan Shults, SALTO Systems Area Sales Manager. "The wire free XS4 smart locks provide a secure barrier against unauthorised entry or access, enabling the base to control and manage a greater range of access control applications than ever before, helping to make Navy personnel less vulnerable to intruders or to attacks from acts of terrorism."

 

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