PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2021) – Antiterrorism Awareness Month is officially over, but members of the Presidio of Monterey community now have plenty to practice throughout the rest of the year.
This year’s awareness efforts included an active shooter drill, a proclamation signing, distribution of a Department of Defense survey, four antiterrorism-themed movie nights and several community outreach events. In addition, as a warm up, organizers held another active-shooter drill and vehicle search training for security personnel in July.
“It’s a true team effort,” said Janice Quenga, antiterrorism officer for U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey, about the installation’s efforts. The garrison worked in partnership with the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center’s antiterrorism program and other organizations on the installation, such as the Directorate of Emergency Services and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, to make it all happen.
To illustrate that partnership, Col. Varman Chhoeung, commander of USAG PoM, and Col. James A. Kievit, commandant of the DLIFLC, signed the Antiterrorism Awareness Month proclamation together at garrison headquarters Aug. 24.
Antiterrorism Awareness Month goes beyond the month itself, Chhoeung said, and those who live and work on the installation pay attention to it year round to keep the community safe.
In a video message before the signing, Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, in her now-previous role as Provost Marshal General of the Army and commanding general of CID, stressed the importance of reporting suspicious behavior. “Seeing something and saying something can save lives,” she said.
Chhoeung said an increase in reports and investigations at PoM show the “See Something Say Something” message is working.
Kievit also stressed the importance of antiterrorism aspects such as “See Something Say Something,” noting that they will help protect the community and the greater community at PoM, the Ord Military Community and the surrounding area.
Glen Harrison, antiterrorism officer for the DLIFLC, said that in addition to working with the garrison, he has been holding antiterrorism awareness training and working with the language school’s antiterrorism officers to conduct random antiterrorism measures.
“It’s important to get that awareness information out, especially with what’s going on in the world right now,” Harrison said. “Getting that information out to the community is very, very important.”
In addition, Harrison said he has also been conducting drills to make sure people know how to safely evacuate buildings.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Army Provost Marshal General’s antiterrorism division recognized the DLIFLC antiterrorism program with the Best Small Unit (Below Brigade) Award Antiterrorism Program Fiscal Year 2020, according to an announcement from the U.S. Army Provost Marshal General.
Quenga said she appreciates the support Harrison and his team provide the garrison.
At the proclamation signing, Chhoeung said the partnership between the garrison and DLIFLC goes beyond antiterrorism.
“The relationship between DLI and the garrison is really a one-team relationship,” Chhoeung said. “We work together in all aspects for support of the mission of training linguists for the Department of Defense. When I look across the room, I don’t see two different teams. I see one team working together towards the same mission.”