Staying alert: Antiterrorism month touts awareness
Col. James Love, garrison commander, signs a proclamation Monday designating August as Antiterrorism Awareness Month. Love said community awareness is a key element in preventing terrorism.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Col. James Love, garrison commander, signed a proclamation Monday recognizing August as Antiterrorism Awareness Month and urging the Soldiers, family members and civilians on Fort Jackson to work together to prevent terrorism.

Love said that increasing vigilance is the main goal of the campaign.

"Our best protection is the people who ... are part of the Fort Jackson community," Love said. "It's the concept of everyone being a sensor. It's not just the guys at the gate - they're a part of it - but it's a layered type of defense, and it starts with those people who see and report something that doesn't quite look right."

The campaign will include posters at high-traffic locations, classes and briefings, as well as online tools that will be made available to the community, said Mark Mallach, installation antiterrorism officer.

"Awareness is the biggest tool we can use in our war on terror," Mallach said. "We can spend millions of dollars on a lot of different things, but, in the end, this is where we get our biggest bang for the buck."

Col. Ronald Taylor, director of emergency services and provost marshal, said he encourages everyone in the community to contact Military Police or call 911 if anything raises suspicion.

"We only have so many MPs," Taylor said. "If I can recruit all the civilians, all the civilian employees, all the Soldiers, family members, visitors to help provide information, it just makes things a lot easier for us to deal with the unknown."

Love expressed his confidence that Fort Jackson responders are prepared to handle any situation, but said that everyone in the community is called upon to prevent terrorism.

"I'm fully confident that we have great measures in place here and that we have great response in case something does happen, but the best thing we can do is prevention," Love said. "And that comes with the people who live and work here."

Page last updated Wed July 28th, 2010 at 16:02