Army North hosts force protection conference for security leaders
May 30, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Anti-terrorism officers and security professionals from major U.S. Army commands in North America met in San Antonio for a three-day conference hosted by U.S. Army North to promote better cooperation and to discuss challenges in force protection in the United States.
More than 50 leaders in force protection from U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, U.S. Army Cyber Command, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and other Army commands, Army Service Component Commands and direct reporting units attended Army North's 2012 Force Protection Conference May 22-24 to hear presentations and participate in solution-seeking table-top exercises.
"As part of Army North's mission for force protection, this conference provides a working forum to address force protection challenges in the U.S. Northern Command theater," said Mary Frels, deputy Provost Marshal, Army North.
"The conference theme for this year is 'managing risk,' as we continue to take a holistic approach to risk management for mission assurance during this time of budget constraints and personnel reductions," said Frels.
The conference focused on identifying gaps, seams and shortfalls that can affect mission execution.
In break-out sessions, groups worked through several objectives, including conducting the risk management process; analyzing exercise reporting and information dissemination; identifying tactics, techniques and procedures for in-transit security and force tracking; and identifying resource impacts of operating at higher force protection levels.
"In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has been very good at feeding information and intelligence up to commanders and decision-makers," said Nicholas Chaudoin, threat branch chief, Army CID. "But back in the states, it is a more complex operating environment."
The conference allowed commands and organizations an opportunity to discuss ideas to improve coordination.
"It gives us -- at least from a CID standpoint -- an opportunity to work with anti-terrorism officers on potential real-world situations," said Chaudoin. "And, it gives us the opportunity to demonstrate how we can enable their missions and develop policies on suspicious activities reporting."
By bringing everyone together, the Army North Force Protection Conference -- in its fifth year -- has improved cooperation between commands and has improved the Army's ability to safeguard its Soldiers, Families and installations, said Victoria Testerman, force protection specialist, Provost Marshal Office, Army North.
"The success story is the collaboration that force protection takes -- all of us working together -- and the discussions that will get us there," said Testerman.
The conference improves the Army's ability to safeguard itself from threats, said Frels.
"This conference is vitally important to provide a forum that brings together force protection subject-matter experts and mission partners in order to coordinate, cooperate, collaborate best practices and lessons learned," said Frels. "Ultimately, the results of this conference provide an opportunity to enhance our ability to ensure the security, safety and protection of U.S Army personnel, resources, infrastructure, information and equipment in the Northern Command area of responsibility."