USA — Center Seeks Paperless Air Guard, Reserve Records

WASHINGTON — Employ­ees at the Air Reserve Per­son­nel Cen­ter in Den­ver are work­ing to secure­ly con­vert thou­sands of paper and micro­fiche per­son­nel records to an elec­tron­ic for­mat for Air Nation­al Guards­men and Air Force Reserve air­men.

“These records rep­re­sent reservists’ careers from the moment they are gained to the reserve until death, and even beyond, because then we use the record to pro­vide ser­vice to the fam­i­ly,” Jack­ie Bing, the center’s direc­tor of records qual­i­ty man­age­ment, said dur­ing a “DoD Live” blog­gers round­table Aug. 18.

Phased com­put­er scan­ning of mil­i­tary per­son­nel records and images is help­ing the Air Force Reserve move away from a paper-depen­dent envi­ron­ment, Bing added.

The group has con­vert­ed more than 120,000 paper records to an auto­mat­ed records man­age­ment sys­tem on an accel­er­at­ed sched­ule since the effort start­ed two years ago. This sys­tem stores mil­lions of retriev­able doc­u­ments on more than a mil­lion records using secure net­work stor­age tech­nol­o­gy, Bing explained.

ARPC offi­cials are con­tin­u­ing the process by con­vert­ing 130,000 paper records of non­par­tic­i­pat­ing reservists, retirees and dis­charged mem­bers and 6 mil­lion micro­fiche images by a March 31 tar­get date.

Bing said more than 100 civil­ian con­trac­tor per­son­nel are scan­ning the files using high-speed scan­ners, elim­i­nat­ing the pre­vi­ous process of print­ing out a record, mak­ing a copy and then scan­ning it. The new­er process allows more work to be done more quick­ly, she said.

Andy Hamil­ton, a qual­i­ty assur­ance eval­u­a­tor for ARPC, said the team has a 100 per­cent qual­i­ty review pri­or to down­load­ing the records to the auto­mat­ed sys­tem and after the scan­ning. He added that the Air Force is try­ing to cre­ate an envi­ron­ment in which doc­u­ments are cre­at­ed with­in the sys­tem and go into the archives.

“With the use of smart forms, we’re try­ing to make this a 100 per­cent paper­less envi­ron­ment,” he said.

There is no cut­off date for records that will be scanned, Hamil­ton not­ed. “If we have a record that needs to be scanned, regard­less of how old the record is, we’re going to scan it,” he said.

Some ser­vice­mem­bers are able to access their records through the Per­son­nel Records Dis­play Appli­ca­tion, com­mon­ly referred to as PRDA, which allows mem­bers using a mil­i­tary or gov­ern­ment com­put­er to access their records at any time.

“We feel that there are some excit­ing things that are hap­pen­ing as our whole work force is being trans­formed, and we’re right in the mid­dle of it with our effort,” Bing said. “We have one record that goes all the way back to 1942. The reservist came in the Enlist­ed Reserve Corps, went to avi­a­tion cadet school, became a pilot, retired and start­ed draw­ing pay.

We were able to scan it, put it in an elec­tron­ic for­mat and give that mem­ber bet­ter access to [his] record.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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