Hunter employee stresses importance of OPSEC compliance
January 13, 2011
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - Security is a measure no one can afford to take lightly. For those who are part of the military, whether Soldiers, civilian employees or Family Members, Operational Security is something that has to be considered on a daily basis - not only regarding work, but also in personal life.
For one Hunter Army Airfield employee, spreading the importance of OPSEC compliance is something he does because he believes in its importance.
"You may not know it, but [we all] play a critical role in ensuring the safety on on-going operations just by what you say about the military's day-to-day operations," Hubert Quiller, Hunter's OPSEC program chief, says in the nine-minute OPSEC training video he made.
That belief is echoed by Hunter garrison commander, Lt. Col. Jose Aguilar.
"Operational security is critical to the profession in arms," he said. "Lack thereof, may bring about an event with national strategic impacts - this is everyone's business."
Quiller recently received accolades for his OPSEC video, winning first place in the Multimedia Achievement category of the 2009 Army Operations Security Awards Competition.
Quiller said that all contractors, Soldiers and civilians on Stewart-Hunter view the video annually to fulfill their OPSEC requirement. He said the purpose of the video is to prevent unplanned release of critical information.
"Hue is indicative of the great team we have here at Hunter working to ensure that our community is as safe as possible," said Lt. Col. Aguilar.
Quiller says people need to limit what they say about military movements, including deployments and redeployments and flight dates and information; any issues within a unit; anything concerning security; and the location of units - he states that it is OK to say a unit is in Iraq, for example, but not their specific location.
The motive behind OPSEC training isn't to make everyone paranoid, but to ensure that everyone stays alert, Quiller said.
In these Facebook and Twitter times, keeping personal and operation security is becoming more difficult, said Quiller.
"Social networking is one of the biggest culprits of breaking OPSEC," the retired first sergeant said. "The training is one of the ways we teach people not to release critical information, including on Twitter, Facebook and talking to people in the public."
Most people are guilty of this security breach - from posting pictures of your unit in Iraq near known locations, to sharing the news that you are heading away on a seven-day cruise on Facebook, the release of both of these pieces of information can have dire circumstances if they fall into the wrong hands.
"Don't assume the enemy isn't trying to collect information on military operations or on your Family," Quiller says in the video.
Quiller, who was a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Specialist in the Army for 20 years, believes that people have become less protective of their personal security, and often spread information on social media sites that they probably shouldn't.
Some tips that Quiller gives to keep your personal security safer on social media sites include not releasing information about going on vacation or being out of town; don't spread the word that your Soldier is deployed and you are home alone; be aware of your surroundings and where you discuss personal or operational information; avoid posting excessive personal information on personal Web sites - including address, rank and/or military occupational specialty and photos.
The objective of Facebook is networking and socializing; but there is a new function "Places You Have Checked Into," which checks and saves the IP address of wherever you log on. People view this as harmless, but it may not be. Quiller said that anyone on Facebook is automatically logged into the function, and stresses that everyone should opt out of it.
Quiller also pointed out that friends and Family may not understand the importance of military OPSEC, so it "better safe than sorry" when deciding how much information to share with them.
Those here at Stewart-Hunter have to be especially cognizant of the information they release.
"Stewart-Hunter is a major power projection platform to every major conflict, so here we have to be extra careful," Quiller said.
The Hunter garrison commander stresses how important Quiller's message is to OPSEC compliance.
"Force protection is about being thorough and taking the time to ensure that the entire installation is doing everything to protect our Service Members and their Families," Lt. Col. Aguilar said.
But, the nature of people, Quiller said, is to want to be laid back about security, then they wonder why security wasn't enough when something happens.
"When something happens because of a security breach we are upset; we don't want to be inconvenienced, but we want to be safe - it's a dichotomy," Quiller said. "Security is a necessary inconvenience."
Take security seriously and do your part - report suspicious behavior to the Hunter Military Police at 912-315-6133.