base entry

Arnold AFB Visitor Control Center

Arnold AFB Visitor Control Center

The Arnold AFB Visitors' Center is the single point of service for issuance of identification media to include Common Access Cards (CAC), military (including Guard, Reserve or Retiree) and dependent family member ID Cards. The center also produces access badges/cards for entry to AEDC/Arnold AFB.

The Visitors' Control Center (VCC) and DEERS office operates from 6:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. (0630-1530) Monday through Friday, closed Saturdays and Sundays, and for all federal holidays. For CAC/Military ID customers, walk-ins are taken at 6:30 a.m. - 3:10 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments made through the Rapids Scheduler will be taken at 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The VCC can be contacted by calling 931-454-7367 or by email

Arriving at the Visitor Center

Upon arriving at the Visitor Center, check in at the Kiosk that is to your right. Select the appropriate option concerning the reason for your visit. You will then be issued a ticket with a number. Listen for your number to be called over the loudspeaker.

Mobile check-in is available at the Visitor Center. Scan the QR code on your mobile device and it will take you to the Arnold Air Force Base check-in site. Note the number of customers that are ahead of you for your selection. If you happen to NOT be near the Visitor Center when checking in and there’s not anyone waiting in front of you, your number will be called immediately, and you will lose your space.

Mobile Ticketing URL:

As always, sponsors are encouraged to submit visitor requests in advance, but same-day passes can still be obtained at the Main Gate outside the Visitor Center hours. Please contact the Visitor Center by end of the day Thursday if you are requesting an after-hours badge to be left at the Main Gate for pick-up.

Link: ID Card Office Locator & Appointments

Do you have questions about your Common Access Card (CAC) or your Uniformed Services ID Card?  This site guides you through the process of obtaining, using, and maintaining both types of cards.

To ensure availability of DEERS services, call 931-454-5453.

Base Access (Types of Access):

Sponsorship: Installation access in which visitors are sponsored onto the installation by someone with unescorted access to the installation (DoD ID cardholders, dependents, etc.). Visitors will receive a pass and will be authorized to enter the installation on their own within the parameters of the permissions annotated on their pass.   

  • All same day unofficial (i.e. personal) guest who are not in possession of an authorized base access credential, issued a Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) pass must process through to the VCC for identity proofing, background vetting (Fitness), and a pass issuance with their sponsor or meet their sponsor at the Main Gate during after-hours access requests.
  • All official visitors or visitors accessing the installation on official purpose (short-term, long-term visitors and test customers) must contact their official base access sponsor to insure the proper documents have been submitted. The sponsor must submit for a visitor request three business days (72 hours) prior to the planned visit. Sponsors submitting requests for more than five guest must submit Visitor request five business days in advance.
  • All Sub-contractors planning to access the installation must ensure their contracting officer has submitted the AEDC form 898 prior to arrival at the VCC for their company. Company representatives designated on the AEDC form 898 must fill out the AEDC form 860 two days (48 hours) prior to the arrival of additional employees.

Pre-Vetting for Planned Special Events (10 or more): 

Sponsors should contact the VCC at 931-454-5453 to discuss the pre-vetting process. The VCC will provide the AEDC sponsor with a pre-vetting form. The sponsor must complete the form and return it to the VCC within the allotted time prior to the planned event.

Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) Virtual Enrollment System (DVES):

The sponsor can initiate a pass request by emailing the Arnold VCC at Pass requests must be submitted at least three days (72 hours) prior to the date required.

DBIDS Virtual Enrollment System (DVES):

Guest no longer have to come to the VCC for passes. Passes can be obtained through the DBIDS Virtual Enrollment System via email.

DVES will allow a sponsor and guest to provide VCC a request for base entry virtually, enabling the sponsor to receive a pass for their guest online, before entering the VCC. By planning ahead and utilizing the DVES system, the sponsor and guest can avoid last minute delays related to their visit.

The VCC recommends requesting base access through DVES at least 3 days (72 hours) prior to the planned visit. The VCC will create the pass and AEDC badge. An email will be sent to the sponsor prior to the planned visit to inform them the pass has been created. The guest can then arrive at the VCC and be issued the pass within minutes. As an added convenience to those who already possess a state-issued REAL-ID Act compliant identification card or driver’s license, their base access permissions can be programmed on their REAL- ID, eliminating the extra step of printing the pass. The guest would simply present to the base sentry Defender their REAL-ID to scan in order to be granted access to the installation.

Please review the accompanying attachment for detailed step-by-step instructions and requirements to utilize DVES at Arnold AFB. The sponsor’s guest requesting access can create a DBIDS profile prior to coming to the VCC through the pre-enrollment website: if they do not already have a profile. The pre-enrollment website may be used to establish a guest profile, but does not grant the guest base access privileges. If the sponsor does not have a .mil email address, they must utilize the current in-person sponsor procedures. Questions regarding the DVES program can be addressed to the Arnold AFB VCC at 931-454-4010.

Link: DVES Virtual Pass Procedures

Installation Access for Foreign National (FN):

DoD installation access policies, all unofficial, aka personal, foreign visitors wishing to access Arnold AFB must undergo additional background checks and processing before being issued a visitors pass.

Foreign nationals (FN) going into the Arnold Village (AV) or the Mission Area on official business must be vetted through the Foreign Disclosure Office (FDO) prior to arriving at the VCC. Failure to being vetted through the FDO prior to your arrival at the Visitor Center will cause significant delays in the badging process. Escorting of any non-vetted FN is prohibited, IAW DoDM-52000.08 V3, AFMAN 31-101 V3. This includes non-U.S. citizens who may hold a foreign passport and U.S. permanent residents.

Call the VCC at 931-454-4010 regarding questions or concerns.

Modified Trusted Traveler Program:

As of 1 June 2022, a modified version of the Trusted Traveler (TT) program has returned. The TT program is an inherent part of being a member of DoD. DoD military personnel, DoD civilians, military retirees, adult dependents of military personnel and personnel in possession of a DD Form 2765 have inherent escort authority based upon the validity of the credential issuance procedures, prior honorable service, or dependency status.

Contractors:  As a general rule, contractors are not allowed to be a TT. The AEDC Commander has created a very limited exception by designating some contractors as mission partners and allowing a small number of personnel to perform modified TT duties. Separate training for contractors is required for the modified TT program.

Trusted Traveler Rules:  (Reference: AFMAN 31-101V3) 

Under the modified TT program the visitor(s) bypass the vetting process however, are required to present identification. When designated personnel escort a visitor under this program, they’re held responsible for the actions of their visitor(s). Visitors brought into the mission area (MA) must be a U.S. Citizen. Those personnel using the TT program are not authorized to vouch for non-U.S. individuals (non U.S. citizens/non U.S. permanent resident aliens) to include those with foreign passports or identification credentials. 

  • You may escort no more than seven (7) visitors
  • You must be in the same vehicle as the visitors
  • You must possess a valid base entry credential (CAC or military ID only, no DBIDS cards or temporary credentials)
  • You must remain with the visitors the entire time they are in the MA or turn them over to another person authorized to participate in the TT program
  • You may NOT escort anyone who has been barred from or denied entry to the installation
  • You may NOT escort into controlled or restricted areas without approval from the area POC/Monitor
  • Visitors do not require and are not issued a badge
  • Failure to follow TT rules and responsibilities are subject to debarment actions

Authorized Trusted Traveler Responsibilities:

The modified TT program may be suspended during increased FPCONs or other contingencies. When terminated, escorted individuals must immediately be escorted out of the MA. If their presence is still needed, they must be appropriately vetted for unescorted access before reentry. Designated personnel are responsible for ensuring each visitor is provided a security and safety briefing. Briefings should be relatively simple and easy to understand and should instruct the visitor to stay with the escort at all times while inside the fenced MA. If the visitor does not comply with procedures outlined, the visit will be terminated and the visitor will be escorted out of the fenced MA. The Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC) will be notified immediately.

Gaining Access:

Beginning May 7, 2025, all AEDC employees and visitors must have a REAL ID compliant license, or another acceptable form of ID to access the installation.

Arnold AFB is a closed installation and proper identification is required to gain access. Proper identification includes but is not limited to:

  • CAC USID (dependent, retiree, and reservist ID)
  • REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID, which includes one of the symbols below.

REAL ID logos

  • Enhanced driver’s license or ID (includes above symbols and a U.S. flag on the front)
  • U.S. State or territory-issued birth certificate with raised seal (must also present a photo ID)
  • Social Security Card or Voter Registration Card (must also present a photo ID)
  • U.S. or foreign passport, or passport card. Restrictions apply.
  • Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC). Restrictions apply.
  • Veteran’s Health Identification Card (VHIC). Restrictions apply.
  • Federal PIV ID Cards (Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, Interior, etc.)

Reference AFMAN 31-101v3, Installation Perimeter Access Control, for the complete list of acceptable installation access credentials

***** If you have a current REAL ID Act driver's license, it can be scanned into the DBIDS system to be used for gate access vs. the issuance of a DBIDS card. This will save time at the visitor center when registering or renewing your yearly passes. *****

NOTE: State –issued licenses and identification cards with the statement ofNOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION” or “FEDERAL LIMITATIONS MAY APPLY,” or any other similar phrases can no longer be used for establishing identity without a secondary identification. See Examples:

sample driver license photos


Veterans, Caregivers and VHIC:

Upon the first visit to the installation, all veterans and caregivers must stop at the VCC during hours of operation. Veteran Affairs (VA) patients and VHIC card holders that have the following statements on their VHIC card “Service Connected, Metal of Honor, Purple Heart, and Former POW” may enroll for recurring access, which would allow them to proceed to the gate for entry upon subsequent visits without having to stop at the VCC.

As with all other individuals seeking access to DoD installations, all eligible veterans and caregivers must pass a basic on-the-spot background check prior to enrolling, and automated check each time they enter the installation. Veterans and caregivers with felony convictions, felony arrest warrants, or other types of derogatory information related to criminal history or terrorism will not be permitted access.

Note: Depending on the type of DoD installation, base disqualifiers may differ.

NEW!  Appointments for VHIC cardholders, VA patients and caregivers can be made by calling the VCC at 931-454-7367 or by emailing

Link: Arnold VHIC Card Holder Access Brochure

Link: Veterans need VHIC for in-person Commissary, Exchange and MWR access

sample VHIC    sample VHIC


Entry Denial Appeal Process:

Appeals will be initiated through the Security Forces Reports and Analysis office. Appeals can be sent to the following email: . You may also send your appeal to AEDC/TSD-SF R&A, 251 Von Karman Rd, Arnold AFB, TN 37389-2000. 


FAQS: Frequently asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. What are the requirements for gaining unescorted access to Arnold AFB?

A: Unescorted access requires individuals to establish their identity, be determined fit for access and establish an acceptable purpose for presence on the installation. The individual must provide a valid reason why they need unescorted access.

Reference AFMAN 31-101 pg. 18

Q.  Are oversized vehicles and delivery vehicles authorized through any gate at Arnold AFB?

A: No, all delivery and oversized vehicles have to enter through Gate 2.

Q. Can I call the VCC for operator services?

A: The VCC is unable to act as an operator service or base locator. We are not staffed and do not have the capability to redirect incoming calls to other offices. Please contact the base operator at 931-454-3000.

Q. What may prevent me from obtaining access to Arnold AFB?

A: Failure to provide proper identification, having an unfavorable Fitness Determination (background check) and failing to provide a sponsor to grant you access to the installation.

Q. How do I obtain an Arnold AFB pass?

A:  If you are a contractor, subcontractor, vendor or service provider, contact your company’s human resource manager or your Arnold AFB point of contact for information on how to pre-apply for a pass. 

If you are not in one of the above categories, contact the Arnold AFB VCC at 931-454-5453 for information on how to apply.

Q. Can I apply for a pass in advance of my arrival to Arnold AFB?

A: Yes. The sponsor can apply and receive a pass in advance through the Defense Biometric Identification System's (DBIDS) Virtual Enrollment System (DVES). The Arnold AFB sponsor must contact the VCC by email to initiate the pass process. When going through the VCC office, the pass can only be obtained on or after the approved start date of the pass. Processing time is 5-7 business days.

Q. What if I am a naturalized citizen, do I need to bring documentation?

A: Yes. To receive base access, all visitors are required to be identity proofed and required to pass a background check. When the background check is conducted it shows where an individual is born. If this information shows that you were born in another country proof of naturalization will need to be provided. Below is a list of acceptable ways that proof of citizenship can be demonstrated per the IAW mandatory guidance DoDM 5200.08 Vol 3, AFMAM 31-101 Vol 3.

- An unexpired U.S. passport or passport card

- An original or certified true copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, territory, possession, or the District of Columbia bearing a raised seal

- A Certificate of U.S. Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)

- A Consular Record of Birth Abroad

- Other documents as established by DoD component-level policy

An individual with dual U.S. citizenship will be treated the same as an individual with only U.S. citizenship. Presentation of any one of the documents listed is sufficient to prove U.S. citizenship

Q. I am a dual citizen, am I still able to access the base?

A: Yes. Dual citizenship question is asked on the AEDC form 860 when you check in at the VCC. If the individual was a citizen of another country and then also became a U.S. citizen, then they will not need approval from the Foreign Disclosure office prior to their arrival. If the visitor was a citizen of another country prior to naturalization and then became a citizen of another country after naturalization, then he would be treated as a foreign national and would require approval for access.

Q. If I have a CAC, can I just go through the gate without checking in at the VCC?

A: Visitors with CAC cards can access the base. They will, however, need to go through the visitor process to receive proximity badges to enter Arnold AFB facilities (except fitness center, BX) unescorted.