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Norfolk Naval Shipyard Ship Access System (SAS): Providing Real-Time Accountability during Emergency Events

By Jason Scarborough, Public Affairs Specialist Norfolk Naval Shipyard

NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. – July 29, 2021

Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) new Ship Access System (SAS) provides real-time accountability of personnel onboard vessels and is integrated with the shipyard’s existing automated access control system. The access control system works by utilizing a machine called the Badge Access Box (BAB). As individuals enter and exit the ship, they will scan their Common Access Card (CAC) at the access box, with colored light indicators displaying access status. For example, a green light will indicate the badge is readable and the individual is logged in the system as “onboard”, whereas a red light indicates a misread badge or access is denied. Shipboard access can also be configured with specific access lists in certain locations. This process is performed by the technical security branch of Code 1120 at the request of the project.

The access box is constructed to withstand the elements and contains all the equipment necessary for identification of access. It is located in close proximity to the brow of the vessel and is monitored by Ship’s Force personnel. Personnel are required to scan their CAC on and off the vessel during normal operations to allow the system to register personnel on or off board in the event of an emergency evacuation.

It is important that you scan on and off the vessel each time so that the system can provide accurate data to emergency responders to help establish their planned response to the event. Ultimately, this system is for your increased safety when working onboard a vessel,” said Technical Security Branch Head (Code 1125) Justin Kusterer. During an emergency evacuation event, an installed switch at the CASCON allows the access box to turn green for egress and change the state of readers to unlock. Personnel will not stop to swipe off which will expedite evacuation.

In the event of an evacuation, the Ship Access System has another component called the Telaeris (XPressEntry). The Telaeris (XPressEntry) is a handheld device that has the same access data stored on it, and acts as a badge reader. The device is assigned to specific project personnel who are responsible for mustering. Upon evacuation, the assigned employee utilizes the Telaeris (XPressEntry) to scan personnel’s CACs in the muster area. The system will provided a live muster report instantly letting security know who is still onboard a vessel. It will provide a “missing report” of personnel who have not been accounted for in the system, allowing the project to provide accountability data to emergency responders to shape their response and rescue efforts.

The access system provides vital information to emergency responders in the event of an emergency or evacuation. Safety is always a top priority at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY). Ultimately, this system has the potential to saves lives by providing real time accountability of personnel on board during a shipboard emergency.

NNSY’s Ship Access System (SAS): Providing Real-Time Accountability during Emergency Events