By Neil CarringtonFebruary 12, 2009
FORT McPHERSON, Ga. Aca,!" What measures can members of the garrison collectively take to help us be as secure as possible' Training and exercises are two of the most important tasks in ensuring readiness in the event of a terrorist attack or event.
Training is vital to help us prepare to react to an emergency or crisis event.
Terrorists have training camps all over the world, and although many have been destroyed since Sept. 11, 2001, others still exist and remain active. The terrorist training philosophy is "train to die." They believe they will be rewarded for their terrorist act after their death.
How does any nation that values human life compete with this type of philosophy' It is virtually impossible to do so, which is why the defense of suicide (homicide) bombers remains so difficult. With all of the technology and sophistication we have in weapons and weapon defense, we have no match for a suicide bomber; therefore, we must train on our antiterrorism policies and conduct training exercises to enhance our A,Adefense and response capabilities.
We do this in many different ways. A few of the most obvious ways are the use of the Random Antiterrorism Measure Program (RAMP), which is when our garrison law enforcement and security personnel conduct additional security procedures at our installation access control points and vital and essential buildings and facilities. RAMPs are also performed by the internal offices and organizations on the garrison.
Another preventive training measure members of the garrison take is the participation in antiterrorism exercises. These exercises help the commander and her staff indentify strengths and weaknesses in the garrison's antiterrorism program.
Training cannot be undervalued and must be done to strict and realistic standards. Imagine if your favorite football team didn't train and practice between each game, but the other team did and perfected its skills and procedures. Needless to say, your football team would be easily defeated.
Another, more serious, example of training is the November terrorist attack in Mumbai, India. The terrorists were believed to be between the ages of 15 and 25 and numbered less than 10, yet the number of dead and wounded victims numbered in the hundreds. We can only imagine the amount of training those terrorists received and the time they dedicated to preparing for the attack. For the garrison to remain successful in its antiterrorism procedures, its members must come close to matching its enemies' dedication and intensity.
The garrison commander's guidance is that the garrison staff train and conduct exercises with an honest sense of reality. The staff trains to a high standard and limits its simulations whenever possible. In many cases, the repitition can become time consuming and redundant, but staff members may only have once chance to get it right.
Later this month, the garrison staff will participate in a command post exercise (CPX), which will be primarily a desktop training opportunity led by a professional training team from the Installation Management Command (IMCOM). The IMCOM team will observe members of the garrison and evaluate their Emergency Operations Center response procedures to terrorist acts and aggression. A benefit to the training will be the comments and suggestions of the IMCOM team members, who will be able to provide an external opinion of the garrison's actions and procedures.
Later in the year, the garrison staff will conduct a garrison-wide antiterrorism exercise that will involve the majority of garrison employees and customer command organizations.
The time employees spend training and the precautions they take in personal preventive measures are shared with the leadership, security and emergency action personnel on the garrison. By working together, members of the garrison command and staff do their best to defeat future terrorist acts.
(Editor's note: This story is part two of a four-part series of articles in conjunction with Antiterrorism Awareness Month.)