By Ms. Mary Ann Davis (IMCOM)August 30, 2017
SEMBACH KASERNE, Germany -- No time for annual training? No problem.
With the end of August's Antiterrorism Awareness Month, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz presented One Stop Shop Community Training to provide much-needed security refresher courses in one day here at Tiger Theater, Aug. 30.
USAG RP's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security organizes the four-hour training course to include Antiterrorism/Force Protection Level 1, active-shooter, iWATCH, iREPORT, AtHoc, national preparedness training, operations security and Threat Awareness and Reporting Program on a quarterly basis, said Terry L. Dunlap, USAG RP antiterrorism officer.
"One Stop training provides people with important information as an annual refresher, but it's also an opportunity for us to give people up-to-date threat information and to provide current examples of dangers that are in our community," he said.
Educating attendees on the correct phone numbers to call in an emergency is paramount, Dunlap said.
"When a security incident happens downtown, what number should people call? Some people may say 112, but that number contacts the fire department," Dunlap explained. "People should call 110, which contacts law enforcement."
With terrorist activity becoming more frequent and deadly in Europe, reporting suspicious activity is more important now than ever before. If people see something that makes the hair on the back of their neck stand up -- say something. It's always better to report something, than not, he said.
"There were a couple of people that reported a strange smell coming from a certain location. When law enforcement checked it out, they found a group of people planning to use chemicals for an attack," Dunlap said. "This was within Europe. So it doesn't matter what it is -- something you see, hear or smell -- report it."
OPSEC is a process regarding the protection of sensitive information, said Tyrone Morgan, USAG RP security specialist.
"There are a lot of security programs out there that are designed to protect information, but unlike Information Assurance, OPSEC deals with not just computer security, it deals with day-to-day conversations you have with individuals or even work you leave out on your desk," he said.
Morgan said it's vital that people are cognizant of the information they talk about and where they are talking about it. Nowadays, that is how a lot of information is gathered -- through eavesdropping. Sometimes it's blatant, he said, or sometimes it can be as subtle as a friendly person asking a few questions like, "How many military personnel are on this installation?" or "How many military bases are in this area?"
"Many times, they will only have to listen to get information. I can just sit down at any restaurant downtown and listen to find out where people live, work and where they are going for the weekend," said Morgan. "Be cognizant of what you are saying and where you are saying it. Of course our adversaries can piece together information. Bits and pieces of information may not seem too harmful, but put together as a whole, it could endanger people or missions."
People should also be careful what they post on social media, the OPSEC specialist said.
"Just realize that what you put out there on the web is not secret. Sure you may have privacy settings you can put in place, but once it's out there in cyberspace -- it's out there," he said.
Morgan advised people to:
*Keep specifics to a minimum
*Don't talk about specific deployment information
*Minimize the amount of personal information out there
*Don't compromise military information whether it be numbers of forces or locations of deployments
*Lastly, watch what is in the background of photos.
"I'm not saying to be afraid to post things on social media, just be smart about it," Morgan said. "People who are deployed out there depend on us to keep them safe, just as much as we depend on them to keep us safe. All the folks who are deployed depend on us to do what is right and maintain operational security. Their lives depend on us."
Another type of training offered at One Stop was TARP refresher training. TARP is an annual requirement that must be taught in a face-to-face setting, said Norman Bemis, special agent in charge of the Kaiserslautern Field Office.
"Some of the things we talk about during the training are current threats, types of incidents and why people should be concerned," he explained. "By virtue of where we are overseas, people need to know they may be targets of foreign intelligence."
People may think espionage is only stuff of novels and Hollywood movies, but it's more real than you think, Bemis said.
"These people are looking to fill information gaps. It may be someone who tags you on Facebook or other social networking sites or tries to work his or her way into your circle of friends," the agent explained. "The good thing about this community is people take these type of threats seriously because of recent terrorist events at the Berlin Christmas market, London and Barcelona."
For situational awareness, Bemis advised people to watch the news to become aware of what is going on where they live or at a location they may be traveling to. He also said not to be afraid to report suspicious activity, because a small piece of information that is reported may have the potential to protect people and infrastructure.
"We want to educate as many people as we can, because the more information that is out there, the safer we will become," he concluded.