August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month and Fort Jackson's Protection Division wants to increase the community's ability to stay safe.

The Army and Fort Jackson conducts antiterrorism education and awareness during August for Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, Family members, and retired Soldiers to increase their antiterrorism awareness and vigilance, the installation's antiterrorism office said.

Gerald Cruzado, Fort Jackson's Antiterrorism Officer, said it is imperative to remain vigilant with respect to potential threats.

"Terrorists can attack anywhere, anytime -- the threat is real," he said. "But we can counter the terrorist threat by vigilance and reporting suspicious activity. We must know how to identify and report suspicious activities or behavior. Everyone must be involved."

Our vigilance can stop terrorist actions before they start because the longest period of the terrorist planning cycle is dedicated to intelligence and surveillance activities.

"If we are able to identify and report their activities early, their actions can be prevented," Cruzado said.

Antiterrorism Awareness is critical to prevent attacks.
"Our antiterrorism efforts protect our people, information, facilities and other resources against terrorist attacks; protecting the force is a vital responsibility of our Army," he said. "Law enforcement and military police protect our communities -- but they can't do it alone. Antiterrorism Awareness gets everyone involved (Soldiers, Department of the Civilians, Army contractors, Family members, and retired Soldiers)."
At the installation level, the Fort Jackson Protection Team and the ATC Antiterrorism Officer will conduct AT Awareness presentations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:

Aug. 22 at the Commissary
Aug. 29 in the Strom Thurmond Building

On Aug. 8 and 15, the Protection Division distributed awareness brochures and information at the Main PX and Mini-Mall to Soldiers, Family members and retirees. The Protection Team also used the time to inform parents and Family members visiting Fort Jackson for Family Day and Basic Combat Training graduation about the importance of antiterrorism measures.

Additionally, the Fort Jackson ATO will conduct active shooter training at 10 a.m. Aug. 28 in the Post Theater -- this training is open to everyone. All DA Civilians, Department of Defense contractors, DOD school teachers, Soldiers and Family members are invited to attend.

"This training can be used at work, home, on or off base, at school, the mall or the movie theater," Cruzado said. "It prepares everyone to survive and respond in the event they should encounter an active shooter."
This training is not mandatory but directed by the Department of Defense. A typical concept for active shooter training should include classroom instruction, drills in the work area followed by an exercise. The exercise is coordinated in advance with the Directorate of Public Works and the Fort Jackson 911 Center.

The exercise requires the workforce to respond in accordance with classroom training and drills.

During many actual Active Shooter incidents there have been numerous opportunities to neutralize the shooter.

For this reason Cruzado said potential victims should "always be prepared to fight."

Units, directorates and partners in excellence can also request active shooter training by contacting the Fort Jackson Protection Division at 751-2132.

"We must be aware of suspicious activity and report it," Cruzado said.

Examples of suspicious activity may include unusual items or situation: a vehicle parked in an odd location or an unattended package. If a person is asking questions at a level beyond curiosity about a building's purpose, the security procedures, or personnel and work hours. Suspicious activity may also be in the form of observation or surveillance; someone paying unusual attention to facilities or looking at a building with binoculars or with a video camera.

Report suspicious activity to the Fort Jackson MP Desk at 751-3113/3114/3115. For immediate emergencies call the Fort Jackson 911 Center at 751-9111.

"Be aware of your surrounding and always keep good antiterrorism practices in mind at all times," Cruzado said. "See something, say something."