FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month highlighting the importance of programs like iWATCH Army, Operations Security training and Cybersecurity Awareness to educate the community and help deter threats.
Maintaining a strong defensive posture can prevent terrorist acts and protect people, Army critical assets, infrastructure and sensitive information.
“Protection of our installation represents our most visible antiterrorism measure,” said Lance Jestes, antiterrorism officer, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS). “Examples include access and entry control points, 100 percent identification checks and active law enforcement patrolling.”
“There is also a need for the eyes of the community,” Jestes said.
iWATCH Army is a modern version of neighborhood watch focused on the threat of terrorist activity. Established in 2010, iWATCH Army encourages and empowers the Army community to identify and report suspicious behavior potentially associated with terrorist activity.
“If someone sees an unusual occurrence that could be threatening, they can report it through the iWATCH Army hotline at 520.538.6969,” Jestes said.
People who maintain situational awareness and report suspicious activities dissuade terrorist activity by extending the reach of law enforcement and security forces.
This reach also includes detecting insider threats within the community, government or military workplace.
An insider threat is someone intent on espionage, sabotage or stealing information for their gain using their employment and access.
“Antiterrorism Level I online training is a good resource that explains insider threat in great detail,” Jestes said.
There are a variety of security programs and measures used to secure the installation.
The Random Antiterrorism Measure (RAM) program uses random, multiple security measure that change the look of an installation’s force protection program and introduce uncertainty to defeat surveillance attempts and make it difficult for a terrorist to accurately predict security actions.
“A unit could conduct random antiterrorism measures by checking parking lots, conducting bag checks and ID cards in locations where that is not the normal security posture,” said Ann Moree, security manager, DPTMS.
Adversaries can also infiltrate through social media, deploy invasive malware and computer viruses. Hackers can steal information or corrupt cyber systems.
“Cybersecurity awareness is tantamount to antiterrorism efforts,” said Stephanie K. Haakenson, information specialist systems manager, Joint Interoperability Test Command, Defense Information Systems Agency.
Imagine an information system is akin to the “central nervous system” for an organization, she explained.
“Concerning antiterrorism, it is necessary to be ever vigilant and to not cut corners in the proper vetting and need-to-know access of a prospective system user,” Haakenson said.
It is important to ensure that you are not displaying system vulnerabilities to anyone other than your intended audience, she explained. “You never know who is out there in the shadows or simply in the open.”
As for information systems, Haakenson said, Gandalf of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels said it best, “Keep it secret, keep it safe.”
Operations security, or OPSEC, enables the identification of critical threats and vulnerabilities to strengthen antiterrorism measures.
“OPSEC is a pillar of the Army Protection Program,” said Terry Koch, command security manager, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence.
OPSEC training and awareness protects mission-essential information, facilities, programs and systems while strengthening the ability to prevent an adversary’s intelligence collection.
The most effective antiterrorism measure is engaging everyone in the community to participate, said Jestes.
And, as always, “If you see something, say something.”
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/ninth Army Signal Command, and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 964 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, critical components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.