FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The U.S. Army Special Operations Command hosted the fourth annual Army Special Operations Advanced Protection Course April 24-26, 2018.
The three-day course covered myriad topics, including a global threat brief, counter unmanned aerial systems, terrorist use of social media, outside of the continental United States insider threats, active shooter response, budget requirements, and notification tools.
Jon Rouse, USASOC Antiterrorism Program Manager, USASOC Protection Division, organized the conference. Rouse views the event as a great way to pull USASOC security and antiterrorism subject matter experts together to better inform personnel and advance unit preparedness.
"This annual course provides a great opportunity for all the antiterrorism officers, physical security officers, and operational security officers from all of our USASOC units to think and work through common concerns in a face to face environment and to gather new information to incorporate into their unit's programs,"
Rouse described specific concerns the USASOC force faces.
"Continuously updating our planning for any and all terrorist threats is one of the main ways we are moving forward," Rouse said. "Training that identifies attack indicators and directs personnel actions are our tools of choice to educate and prepare our Soldiers to counter these threats."
"Testing of equipment and the development of policy is the priority effort at this point. ARSOF's APC provides opportunity for some collective problem solving and concerted effort in our planning for and reaction to these threats."
Units forward deployed or stationed overseas must also remain vigilant in the face of terror threats.
"The threats our forces face overseas still persist and is always a concern," Rouse said. "The ramming and stabbing attacks in Europe represent a possible future threat to our forces and families on the world's stage."
The upward trend of active shooter incidents stateside has become a major concern that can affect Soldiers and their families Rouse noted. "Unmanned aerial systems are another ever-evolving weaponized threat that DOD, and specifically USASOC, is putting money towards research to defeat this new tactic," Rouse said.
Special guest Mike Clumpner, recognized by federal law enforcement agencies as one of the nation's foremost experts on integrated active shooter response, presented a five-hour, in-depth lecture on active shooter response.
Clumpner said, "H.L. Menckem says, 'At best, for every problem there's a solution, which is simple, neat, and wrong.' Second only to terrorism, active shooter events are the most complex threat public safety faces today. If your solution is not complex, you have misunderstood the threat. This is not cookie cutter stuff. You need to go back and tailor plans to your own community."
"I don't know what tomorrow holds but I know that there is something worse looming on the horizon we never even thought about…and that's what we have to be planning for," Clumpner said.
DOD released newly created digital material, available to the force and family members, to spread awareness on terrorism and insider threats.
Michael Britton, Headquarters Department, Army Office of the Provost Marshal General Antiterrorism Division, shares this message with the force.
"An aware and informed community is more likely to recognize and report suspicious activities that can help prevent a terrorist attack. One of the roles of the antiterrorism officer is just that, to educate and inform the community on terrorist threats and activities. In this light, the HQDA Army AT Division, in coordination with the Army Multimedia & Visual Information Directorate, has produced a new iWATCH Army public service announcement to help ATOs around the world… The new PSA is designed to attract and educate audiences of all ages on the threat of terrorism, what may constitute as suspicious activity, and how to report that information to the authorities."
To view the new IWATCH PSA follow the link below.