Anti-terrorism awareness month reminds military to vet visitors
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By Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security

FORT POLK, La. — The terrorist and insider threat is increasing and it’s vital to maintain a guard against potential espionage and sabotage threats to Army readiness. It’s imperative to anticipate emerging and nontraditional threats and leverage databases. One way to do this is thorough vetting. At the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, nongovernmental identification card holders who want to gain access to the installation must go through a vetting process administered by Fort Polk’s Directorate of Emergency Services.

For Fort Polk access, the military police are responsible for ensuring criminal backgrounds are conducted on personnel, including contractors and vendors requiring or requesting access to the installation.

The purpose of an installation access request is to seek permission to access the installation for a specific reason, such as going to work, attending a meeting, visiting friends or relatives who live on the installation or retiree privileges. Applicants are screened for criminal activity that would deem them to be a threat to the safety of Soldiers, civilian employees and Family members. The goal is to promote good order and discipline and to ensure everyone feels safe at all times.

Public law and Department of Defense policy states the Army has the responsibility and authority to conduct background screening of visitors and electronically authenticate and continuously vet personnel entering installations.

Public Law 110-181 tasked the DOD to determine the eligibility for all persons allowed to enter military installations. In response, physical security representatives from the military services, DOD agencies and the Defense Manpower Data Center designed, developed and implemented the Identity Matching Engine for Security an Analysis to support force-wide interoperability between the services’ various electronic physical access control systems and with Enterprise Physical Access Control from other DOD and federal agencies.

In August 2014, in response to Fort Hood and Washington Navy Yard mass shootings, the Secretary of Defense ordered immediate operational implementation of the IMESA screening system at all military installations with ePACS.

It allows the services and DOD agencies to continuously vet all personnel entering installations against the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, Terrorism Screening Database and National Criminal Information Center files, to include the felony wants and warrants file, National Sex Offender Registry, Violent Person File, Foreign Fugitive File and Immigration Violation File.

The IMESA sends automated alerts to installation law enforcement and security personnel through its continuous vetting management engine so personnel with new derogatory law enforcement reports can be detained and properly adjudicated. Access control is an integral part of the Army Insider Threat Program and critical for maintaining resilient communities and maneuver platforms to generate and sustain combat power for overseas operations. At home, the first indication of a threat, whether criminal, terrorist, insider or other, will likely come through law enforcement channels.

There are other things that may determine if an individual’s installation access may be denied or revoked, to include:

•Criminal history

•Debarment order — currently banned from military installations

•Registered sex offender

•Illegal alien

•Prisoner work-release program, or currently on parole/probation

•National terrorist watch list

•Outstanding warrant

•Knowingly submitted an employment questionnaire with false or fraudulent information

Vetting is vital to the safety of those who work and live on the installation. Although sometimes the vetting process may seem cumbersome and time consuming, it is an important part of efforts to provide Fort Polk residents and the workforce a safe and secure environment.

Reporting Channels


•Criminal Investigation Division CRIME TIPS:

•Fort Polk Directorate of Emergency Services (337) 531-2677 (911)

•LA Safe:

If you have questions about anti-terrorism awareness and iWATCH, call (337) 531-0413/6007 or email or

Remember, if you See Something … Say Something! Report all suspicious activities to (337) 531-2677 or the Anti-terrorism Hotline at (337) 531-6584.