MPF innovates new identification process
By Senior Airman Ryan Lackey, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 17, 2018
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The 92nd Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Flight is a busy place. These few Airmen assist and serve more than 100 individuals during any given work day. Each customer brings specific needs that requires individual attention; it takes a considerable amount of time and resources to accomplish the MPF mission of providing personnel services to Airmen, dependents, civilian contractors and veterans.
MPF Airmen took up the challenge to find a new method to streamline their processes and reduce the stresses on both them and their customers, which led them to automate some services to online platforms.
“The average wait time any service MPF provides is approximately 90 minutes,” said 2nd Lt. Joseph Applewhite, 92nd FSS MPF career development officer in charge. “That statistic highlighted a need to improve our processes in some way that lowered the overall wait time. That’s when we looked into the possibility of online servicing for some identification cards.”
Military ID renewals are a common request Fairchild MPF Airmen handle with a base and local population of nearly 20,000 people, to include other service branches, Guardsmen, Reservists and retirees.
“The traditional process required that a dependent bring two forms of identification and their military sponsor to validate them in-person,” said Airman 1st Class Ruby Bennett, 92nd FSS MPF force management technician. “It could take over an hour depending on how many people are ahead of them, and more once they sit with us to fill out forms, take a picture and get the ID.”
The State of Washington has only two locations that service military ID cards: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, located near Seattle, and Fairchild Air Force Base here in Spokane. With Fairchild being the only facility around for so many people, its services become a vital function to people that may live hours away, making efficiency a top priority for MPF Airmen.
“Some people may drive up to five hours just to get an ID card from us,” Applewhite said. “We don’t want them to have to wait here too [long]. By going online, it saves everyone much more time.”
The new online ID Card Office for Fairchild’s MPF went live January of this year, with services available to military dependents only.
“The system we have now, a dependent can go online and submit all the documentation and paperwork needed for a new or renewal ID card,” Applewhite said. “The dependent can then come in and pick up the card after verifying their identity. It’s only for military dependents right now, but that includes Guard, Reserve and retired individuals of any service branch.”
One Airman can now process more ID requests per day due to required documentation being sent to them ahead of time through a secure website. The elimination of filling out forms in-person is proving to save these Airmen and their customers a considerable amount of time.
“It takes only a few minutes to process the forms now,” Bennett said. “All we need after that is the two forms of ID and a fingerprint from the dependent when they come to get the ID. It’s quick, painless.”
It makes my job easier and lessens the stress for those waiting, so I feel like this new process will work out well, added Bennett.
Fairchild’s MPF saw approximately 8,400 service transactions from January to October in 2017. With the service wait time averaging 87 minutes from start to finish, the MPF team hopes to shave down that wait time by 20 percent, or approximately 18 minutes, by the end of the year using online servicing.
“I feel like this is a great idea that will help everyone save time, effort and money,” Applewhite said. “Not only for us here at the MPF, but for the military and everyone who comes to us for assistance.”
The online process is something that we are working to adopt for all forms of IDs, but just handling dependent IDs this way saves time and frees up more of our staff to handle all the other requests, lessening wait times overall,” added Applewhite.
To check out the new Dependent ID Card Online system, go to: http://www.fairchildfun.com/id.html, or call the 92nd FSS MPF help desk at (509) 247-4026 for more information.