By TRADOC Public AffairsAugust 1, 2014
FORT EUSTIS, Va. (Aug. 1, 2014) -- Each year, the Army sets aside August to raise awareness of its ongoing efforts to protect Soldiers and their families, Department of the Army civilians and contractors from terrorist threats.
Here are a few things to always keep in mind:
1. The threat is real.
According to a recent article by the Heritage Foundation, there have been 60 terrorist plots against the U.S., since 9/11. Their research of media reports and court documents shows that military facilities were the number one target in these plots, followed by New York City and places with mass gatherings, such as the Boston Marathon.
"Our enemies never rest and continue to seek ways to attack our nation and destroy our way of life. AT month provides us an opportunity to contribute to the defense against terrorism and keep our families and communities safe through training and awareness," explained Col. Mike Blahovec, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's protection director.
2. Awareness is critical.
Knowledge is power, and just like in the National Football League, defense wins championships. As part of the awareness month, every member of the Army team is required to take the online AT Level I Awareness Training course.
The online course is located at https://jkodirect.jten.mil.
To further enhance awareness, every Soldier within TRADOC, and all new civilian hires, are required to receive face-to-face AT Level I training, according to Jim Kirkland, TRADOC's anti-terrorism officer.
3. See something - Say something
Sometimes seemingly benign -- but odd -- situations can lead to terrible consequences, if they go unreported.
According to Kirkland, the "See Something -- Say Something" motto has contributed to preventing planned attacks. For example, an alert citizen in Minnesota recently noticed someone crossing her yard to a storage area. She reported the suspicious activity, and a 17 year old was charged with attempted murder, possessing explosives and attempted damage to property. He possessed six bombs, seven weapons, and 400 rounds of ammunition, and planned to kill his family and classmates.
"We are all in this fight together," says Bill Moisant, TRADOC's G-34 protection chief.
"Our Soldiers and their families know what they've signed up for, and they know the type of business we are in, but we can all help watch each other's back. AT Awareness Month focuses on training; this is critical in protecting our people and enabling our missions. Awareness is our most certain defense against an act of terrorism. If you see something - say something."
(Editor's Note: Research from the Heritage Report contributed to this report.)