By Laura KreiderSeptember 4, 2019
VICENZA, Italy (Sept. 4, 2019) - Are you always aware of what you publish on social media? Do you post your pictures of vacations after coming back? Do you try to take different routes to vary your routine?
Dave Keller, Mike Morrison, and Dave Mangers are three Army professionals assigned to the garrison staff who are thinking about these questions year-round and not only during Army's Anti-Terrorism (AT) Awareness Month.
Working together, their mission is to prevent and deter terrorist attacks, protect and respond to threats and hazards against all military personnel, civilians and Italian employees, contractors, and family members at the nine different locations between Vicenza and Camp Darby.
Morrison smiles when people "think all he does is sit in his office". When in contrast, he's often away from his office keeping the community safe.
"I'm frequently out and about making assessments of all school bus stops and routes; assessing on and off post special events; processing the required paperwork to support such events; maintaining more than ten databases on two computer networks used by the Department of Defense; and conducting weekly training for all newcomers to Italy," said Morrison.
He hopes his training helps everyone to become more vigilant of their surroundings, recognize threat indicators, and report suspicious activities to not only protect themselves, but the community as well.
"I believe that the AT program gives the USAG Italy Military Community a sense that there is someone ensuring they are safe; that someone is watching their back to ensure they are aware of the threats and that they do not become a victim of a terrorist," explains Morrison.
Over the past month, the team focused on community awareness through recognizing and reporting suspicious activity in iWATCH/iReport, Threat Awareness Reporting Program (TARP), iSALUTE, Operations Security (OPSEC), insider threat, Unmanned Aircraft Systems or Vehicles (UAS/UAV), and cyber security and awareness. During periodic AT briefings to the community, they highlight something that a very high percentage of the current population is already uses daily.
The one area Morrison suggests everyone to pay attention to, is social media.
"I suggest not to post anything on social media prior to, during and on their way back from vacations. This doesn't only protect them while they are away, it also protects their 55-inch television, laptop and other items at their house from theft," said Morrison.
Weekly training is available for all newly arriving military personnel and anyone else who wants to review or learn some important tactics, especially when being overseas for the first time.
"We provide an unclassified summary of threats within Europe in general and, specifically, within the USAG Italy area of responsibility, a review of local policies (e.g. uniform wear restrictions, DoD travel reporting requirements, off installation special event approval processes), and active shooter response," said Keller, who is the garrison's overall AT officer.
Host nation relations are another important factor in keeping the Army safe, here. USAG Italy's ability to perform anti-terrorism and force protection functions is heavily dependent upon the relationships established with the Italian Base Commander and his staff; all parts of Italian law enforcement such as the SETAF Carabinieri, the local Questura's office, as well as with Italian counter terrorism agencies.
"These relationships are strong. They cannot be understated. USAG Italy coordinates, communicates, and shares information with our Italian counterparts on a routine basis. This relationship is highlighted during our biennial, full-scale exercise that integrates our training needs with Italian requirements as a key component of our one-team approach," said Keller.
To report suspicious activities, you may contact the Provost Marshall's Office at DSN 634-7626/7827 or commercial 0444-71-7626/7827, or call 331-172-2142 available 24/7.