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Users can log on to Portal with common access card

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Sept. 21, 2005) -- Users can now log on to the Air Force Portal using their common access card and personal identification number.

This latest change to the Air Force Portal means fewer passwords for users to remember and leads to greater security for Air Force networks, said Maj. David Gindhart of the Air Force warfighting integration and chief information officer directorate at the Pentagon.

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"We have gone to a newer, easier, more secure way of logging into the Air Force Portal," Major Gindhart said. "The beauty of the CAC login is that it requires you to physically have (a CAC) issued through the proper authorities, and then you have to have the PIN. So it's a two-factor authentication, much stronger than the user ID and password combination."

Major Gindhart said getting the Air Force Portal to recognize your CAC is easy. Users should go to the Portal Web site at and click the "New/existing users start here" link under the "Register Now with CAC" heading.

"It'll take a few minutes to associate your CAC with your user ID and password," the major said. "In the background it'll take about 30 minutes for the software to update. From there on out you use the CAC to log in."

If users need to log into the Portal from home or any machine without a CAC reader, they will still be able to log in with their password and ID combination, he said.

When users use their CAC to access the Portal, they will continue to have access to the reduced sign-on access applications they have set up, such as the Virtual Military Personnel Flight, myPay, Air Force Personnel Center secure, Air Force Virtual Education Center, the fitness management system and more.

The Portal will continue to change and improve as the DOD updates requirements for network user authentication, Major Gindhart said.

"Where the Portal goes depends on where the DOD goes with identification mechanisms," he said. "Cleary, things like biometrics are the future -- whether it be finger, thumb or retinal scan. Those are things they are looking at."

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