The CDP is located in Anniston, AL at the former Fort McClellan. It is located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains approximately 60 miles east of Birmingham and 90 miles west of Atlanta, GA, at exit 185 or 188 on I-20. Anniston, Alabama is located in the Central Time Zone.
Congratulations on your decision to train at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP). Once you’ve received your itinerary, the only obstacle standing between you and world-class training is getting from your place to ours.
The majority of flight arrangements are scheduled using electronic tickets (e-tickets). You will not have a traditional hard copy ticket, but you will have a flight confirmation sheet which contains your travel information (flight number, departure time, departure location, etc.). If your departure location does not have e-tickets available, your prepaid airline ticket will be sent by U.S. Postal Service or other shipping service such as UPS, Fed-Ex, etc., (signature required) the week before your travel date. The ticket provided is the property of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); if unused, this ticket must be returned immediately to the mailing address on the contact page.
If change to your ticket is made by you or your agency, you will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred. Unauthorized changes to your airline ticket may result in significant delays in your transportation from the airport to the CDP. All CDP transportation to and from the airport is scheduled based on the CDP-provided airline ticket.
If you’re flying – which is how more than 75 percent of our students travel to the CDP – you’ll need to do a little advanced planning. If you’re traveling between June 1 and Aug. 31, you’ll be joining an average of more than 2.51 million travelers who fly on U.S. airlines each day during that period, according to trade group, Airlines for America. With that in mind, below are a few tips for a smoother travel experience.
The day before you travel
This is a good time to look over your CDP itinerary; it has all the information you need to check-in online 24 hours before your flight’s departure. You can either print your boarding pass then or at the airport prior to your flight.
Preparing for Airport Security
Packing your carry-on
If you’re a state, local, tribal or territorial responder, you are authorized reimbursement for one standard-size, standard-weight checked bag. This will leave more room in your carry-on for a couple of snacks, something to read and the chargers for your electronic devices, although it’s always a good idea to fully charge your devices before you leave home. Remember to follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 3-1-1 rule: liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be in 3.4 ounces or less and all bottles must fit in a single, quart-size plastic bag.
Leaving for the airport
The rule of thumb is to arrive at the airport two hours ahead of your flight’s departure time, but three hours will give you some wiggle room if you find yourself in an excessively long line at a security checkpoint. If you want to know just how long the wait times are, you can log into www.ifly.com. Under “Airport Information,” you can find security wait times, terminal maps and airport delays for just about every U.S. airport.
Once you near the checkpoint, have your ID and boarding pass out, ready to hand to the TSA agent. When you get to the divesting tables, remove large electronics, like laptops, and your 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag from your carry-on for separate screening.
You can’t do much about the long lines at the security checkpoints, but you can do your part to get through the security screening quickly. Start by wearing shoes that you can slip off and on easily. Minimize the number of accessories you wear to the airport. It’s just more items that you’ll have to take off and place in the bin during the screening. Similarly, minimize the amount of items in your pockets. Stow your accessories and pocket items in your carry-on, if possible. If you have to drop them in a separate bin, put them in with your shoes. You might forget your change or keys, but you probably won’t walk away from the checkpoint without your shoes.
Arrival in Atlanta
Once you’ve retrieved your luggage in Atlanta, proceed to the South Baggage Claim Terminal where a CDP Student Support Services representative will meet you at the “window side” of Baggage Carousel 5 near the escalator entrance. He or she will verify your ID and escort you to the CDP motor coach that will drive you to the CDP campus and the start of a rewarding training experience.
A government issued photo ID is required to board CDP transportation at the airport. Once you have checked in with the CDP Student Support Services representative, you will be able to place your luggage in a secure holding area and move about the airport until the time of departure. A Student Support Services representative will remain on-site, prepared to transport late arrivals to the CDP.
If you experience ground and/or air travel delays or difficulty in locating CDP Student Support Services representatives at the airport, contact Student Services at (866) 213-9551 or (256) 847-2072 as soon as possible. Alternative arrangements for transportation will be coordinated once notification is made.
Federal, Private Sector, and International students are required to make their own flight arrangements and are not authorized to receive reimbursement from the CDP. They are authorized to travel to the CDP on the provided bus transportation, at no cost, if prior arrangements are made through Student Support Services. If you are an international student, please be prepared to show your passport or visa to the CDP Student Support Services representative at the airport.
Important Travel Information
If you travel to the CDP by vehicle, the CDP will compare the round-trip mileage cost to the cost of travel by air. Reimbursement is based on the lesser of the two. If carpooling, only the driver may request vehicle mileage reimbursement. If you travel to the CDP in a government vehicle, no reimbursement for mileage is authorized.
Plan to arrive at the CDP Lodging facility by 4:00 p.m. (CST) on your arrival day. Refer to your CDP Invitational Travel Letter to determine your authorized travel days. A government-issued, REAL ID Act compliant form of identification (with photograph) is required to access the CDP campus.
Driving Directions to the CDP Lodging Complex
In preparation for your drive to the CDP, take time to plan your route to the CDP lodging. If you are using Google Maps (recommended) , enter “CDP Lodging” in the search box, select “CDP Lodging” from the dropdown menu and select “Start” to begin the google navigation to the CDP lodging front gate.
From Oxford, AL (I-20, exit 188)
Travel on the Leon Smith Parkway/Golden Springs Road/Anniston Eastern Bypass for approximately 4.2 miles. Turn right onto Iron Mountain Road and drive approximately 3.0 miles. Continue straight at the 4-way stop (Road name will change from Iron Mtn. Road to Anniston Eastern Bypass). Turn left onto Eglin Ave. (first left). Take the first left into lodging.
From Gadsden AL, Highway 431 southbound
Travel south on US 431 and continue straight on the Anniston Eastern Bypass. Turn left onto Iron Mountain Road and continue approximately 3.0 miles. Continue straight at the 4-way stop (Road name will change from Iron Mtn. Road to Anniston Eastern Bypass). Turn left onto Eglin Ave. (first left). Take the first left into lodging.
Upon arrival at the CDP Lodging Complex
A Security Officer will greet you at the gate, verify your identification, and direct you to the CDP Hospitality Desk in Building 320. All vehicles must obtain a parking permit from the CDP Hospitality Desk at Building 320 in order to park in the lodging area. You will receive an orientation briefing in building 320 at 5:00 p.m. (CST).
To ensure prompt reimbursement for any authorized expenses, be sure to provide all requested documents and other information to your CDP Travel Office Point of Contact. If you are entitled to and do not receive your reimbursement within six (6) weeks of completing your travel, contact the CDP Travel Office at 1-866-213-9549.
If you experience any travel delays or complications, call the CDP Travel office at (866) 213-9549 for assistance.
If you need assistance finding the CDP, call Student Services at (866) 213-9553.
Jet lag can be a problem for travelers who are crossing several time zones. Although it is not a serious condition, jet lag can make it hard for you to enjoy your first few days. Jet lag can affect mood and mental performance. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the effects of jet lag.
- Exercise, eat a healthful diet, and get plenty of rest.
- A few days before you leave, start going to bed an hour or two later than usual (before traveling west) or earlier than usual (before traveling east) to shift your body’s clock.
- Break up a long trip with a short stop in the middle, if possible.
- Avoid large meals, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Drink plenty of water.
- On long flights, get up and walk around periodically.
- Sleep on the plane, if you can.
After You Arrive
- Adapt to local schedule as soon as possible.
- Eat meals at the appropriate local time.
- Spend time in the sun.
- Drink plenty of water, and avoid excess alcohol or caffeine.
Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers Health. Chapter 2.