FORT HOOD, Texas - The Force Protection, Security and Intelligence Office was named the Army’s Best Large Antiterrorism Program of 2021 at the 20th annual Army Antiterrorism Training Seminar in Washington D.C., March 8.
Joe Tainatongo, lead antiterrorism specialist won the Lieutenant Colonel Ronald C. Francis Best Antiterrorism Program Manager award, while several other individuals were named to the AT Honor Roll.
Watching live from their offices inside the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Operations Division’s Protection Branch at III Corps Headquarters, the team applauded one another’s efforts to “see something, say something,” the Army’s most famous campaign.
“It’s a team effort,” Tainatongo said. “I can’t do it all myself. I can start something, but then I have to bring in their expertise so we can package it up into a great program.”
Tainatongo has served as the lead antiterrorism specialist for 17 years, after serving 28 years in the Army as an air defense artilleryman and then an aviator, where he retired as a command sergeant major.
“Each person in here has a functional area that feeds into the program,” Tainatongo explained. “That’s how the whole program comes together.”
The Army also named 20 individuals to the AT Honor Roll. Among those 20 individuals were four from Fort Hood’s team, including: Susan Davis, operations specialist; Victor Hage, plans specialist, Master Sgt. Akinola Oladipo, force protection specialist, and Daniel Spencer, chief of Force Protection and Security.
“It just means that what this office does is successful in keeping the installation safe,” Hage said about the honor, which is his sixth induction. “Even though my name is on that, I couldn’t have done it without my team. I feel honored that our team is successful in what it does.”
Oladipo concurred, saying it was here at the Fort Hood Force Protection Office that he felt like he became a real antiterrorism officer. The veteran Soldier, who is currently transitioning from the Army after more than 24 years of service, has been an ATO since 2010.
“I was like, ‘This is coming at a time when I’m leaving,’” Oladipo said. “At the end of the day, it’s a good feeling. Part of my functional area is to make sure we get the word out every quarter about the AT theme, and the public affairs team was very instrumental to our mission’s success by communicating our antiterrorism message. They make us look like rockstars.”
Davis has also recently left her position and is now serving as the operations officer for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation. This is the third time she has been named to the AT Honor Roll.
“It is probably the most prestigious honor working as an AT in the field with so many talented people,” Davis said. “I’m extremely
honored. It’s always exciting and very rewarding. It’s nice to be recognized for a lot of hard work and dedicated service to the profession.”
Spencer, said he was proud of the hard work of his team, who all understand that the whole program is about national security.
“Our job is the protection of Fort Hood by implementing
policies and procedures,” Spencer explained “Whereas DES (Directorate of Emergency Services) is crime protection, we have the overall protection of Fort Hood.”
The team will be recognized by Lt. Gen. Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, during a formal ceremony later this month.