On August 30th, 2021, a month shy from the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the U.S. completed its withdrawal of Afghanistan, heralding the end of nearly two decades of the Global War on Terror. Over the course of twenty years, America’s Army navigated the treacherous terrain of combatting terrorism on multiple fronts, at home and abroad. While the withdrawal from Afghanistan may be the symbolic conclusion of the Global War on Terror, terrorism remains a persistent threat to the health and safety of U.S. Service members around the world.
The 9th Mission Support Command’s Anti-terrorism (AT) Program has proven it is well prepared for any threat, being named the best large unit anti-terrorism program by Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) for fiscal year 2021.
“The 9th MSC AT Program is a comprehensive program focusing on defensive measures used to protect our Soldiers and reduce vulnerabilities to assets from bad actors,” explained Harlie Temengil, the 9th MSC’s Anti-Terrorism Officer.
“The 9th MSC placed best among all other Army units of its size in its execution of its anti-terrorism program. The criteria we were graded on were program planning, execution, training, sustainment, and coordination,” added Temengil.
The 9th MSC distinguished itself by utilizing a different approach to AT program execution.
“The 9th MSC approached anti-terrorism by asking the question, how is anti-terrorism integrated in operations, exercises, training, contract review travel and Daily activities?” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Abbott, the Provost Sergeant for the 9th MSC.
Executing a superb anti-terrorism program requires deliberate planning to ensure the safety of the members of the 9th MSC.
“As the Antiterrorism Officer for the command, my number one priority is to defend personnel and assets from man-made attacks and natural disasters. Executing this program effectively is all about coordination, establishing protection priorities, determining responsibilities, and engagement with interagency partners,” said Temengil.
Being named the best anti-terrorism program in the entire Army requires an excellent team emphasizing its importance throughout the command.
“Our team recognized the importance of this, and elevated the program to focus on interagency partners in the area of responsibility, exercise active shooter drills, test Alert Systems, and most importantly risk assessments of critical facilities,” said Abbott.
Some may see being named the best program in the Army as an excuse for complacency, the 9th MSC AT Program manager is looking to build on this year’s success.
“The 9th MSC G-34 and Provost Marshall Office plans on pivoting in 2022 to focus on Stand Alone Facilities in Maui, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa to ensure these facilities are ‘hard targets’ and prevent possible acts of terror,” said Temengil.
For many Americans, the threat of terrorism seems vague and unlikely to affect their personal lives. They often don’t realize how the efforts of the Department of Defense keep them safe on a regular basis. The very fact Americans feel unlikely to experience such terror firsthand means units like the 9th MSC are doing an incredible job holding the line. The recognition by HQDA of the 9th MSC Anti-terrorism program is definitive evidence of the 9th MSC’s dedication to excellence.