VICENZA, (Italy) - August is the month Army leaders designate as "Antiterrorism Awareness Month" and USAG Italy plans a series of community events, training and media outreach to build and reinforce heightened awareness and vigilance in Soldiers and their families to protect them as well as Army resources from acts of terrorism.

USAG Italy Antiterrorism Officer Dave Keller says antiterrorism training, education and awareness support the entire Army community and are a critical part of protecting the force.

"Protecting our community and families is our top priority and education and awareness are the two most important elements to keep us safe. It may seem difficult, if not impossible, to prevent an attack, but knowing what to do should something occur will improve your chances of staying safe, keeping in touch and quickly reuniting with your family," said Keller.

During this month, USAG Italy has a goal to ensure everyone completes required annual Antiterrorism Level 1 Awareness Training.

While online training is the way most Soldiers and civilians complete the requirement, classes will be offered at the Caserma Ederle Post Chapel on Aug. 6 from 9 to 10 a.m and on Aug. 13 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Soldiers and civilians at Camp Darby can take classes on Aug. 20 in building 204. DoDEA teachers will also be offered training and Vicenza High School students are encouraged to participate.

Completion of either the computer-based or face-to-face training will meet the annual Antiterrorism Level 1 Awareness refresher-training requirement.

In addition to training, the community is asked to practice their awareness skills and look for antiterrorism displays at different locations on the installation. There will be free posters, and hand-outs as well as subject matter experts to answer questions. AFN Vicenza will also be broadcasting anti-terrorisom-themed interviews and commercial spots throughout the month.

"We really want to get information out every way we know how. Look for messages in our Plan of the Week and all the AT Awareness Month events and activities will be posted and highlighted on the garrison Facebook page," said Keller.

According to Keller, a simple report of a suspicious observation by a Soldier or family member can lead to action that may stop a terrorist attack.

"There are things you can keep an eye-out for. Some of these include strangers asking questions about security procedures; a suitcase, backpack, or package left behind; vehicles left in 'no parking' zones in front of important buildings; and others. Everyone in the USAG Italy community can help keep the installation safe by reporting suspicious activities on USAG Italy to the Police Department or to the local police if off post," said Keller.

The opportunity to travel and see all the great tourist destinations in Europe while stationed at USAG Italy doesn't come without some dangers.

"Increased travel during the summer and holidays, mass transit coupled with large gatherings of personnel present attractive targets of opportunity for those who wish to do us harm", said Keller. "Everyone should be vigilant and attentive to the surrounding environment. Take this month to learn or review how to protect yourself and your family."
Keller added: "We might not be able to prevent an attack, but understanding the terrorist threat and knowing what to do, should something happen, will improve our chances of staying safe."

For more information on how to antiterrorism precautions to stay safe, contact the USAG Italy Antiterrorism Office at DSN: 637-8021/8060.

(Michela Martinello contributed to this story)