FORT GREGG-ADAMS, Va. -- As Antiterrorism Awareness Month continues, the force protection team in the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security offers this reminder: everyone in our community is part of the engine that powers the nation’s defenses.
It all starts with individuals in military and civilian communities being alert to their surroundings, taking note of what looks out of place and reporting any suspicions to law enforcement officials.
“The threats we faced 20 years ago aren’t the threats we face today, nor are they the threats we will face in the future,” said Maj. Gen. Duane R. Miller, Army provost marshal general, in a recent article on Army.mil.
Adversaries are constantly evolving with their use of technology to identify vulnerabilities.
“The more aware our community members are, the more likely we are to obtain advanced warning to defend against terrorist attacks,” he stated. “Constant vigilance, timely threat reporting, knowledge of antiterrorism prevention measures, and Army leadership advocacy are vital to sustained prevention.”
Some of the salient points of AT Awareness Month include:
· Guard information about yourself and your job – Limit discussion and accessibility of any information (written or verbal) that may provide insights for terrorists targeting U.S. personnel. Always use secure channels when relaying sensitive information. Properly destroy outdated documents/files that contain sensitive information.
· Be prepared for the unexpected – Plan for the full range of threat possibilities and remember that rehearsal drills are the surest way to check the understanding and effectiveness of established procedures.
· Take precautions for official and unofficial travel – Ensure Level 1 AT Training is current. If an overseas trip is planned, request an area-specific threat briefing by an antiterrorism officer or security manager. Avoid use of rank or military addresses on tickets, travel documents or hotel reservations. When given the option to do so, use a passport instead of a military ID card for identification. For overnight stays, select an inside hotel room (away from the street-side window), preferably on 4th-10th floors. Know the location of the U.S. Embassy and other safe locations where you can find refuge or assistance when traveling overseas. Ensure associates or loved ones know your planned route and anticipated times of arrival. Guard information about yourself and maintain a low profile.
· Daily commuting/travel – Regularly check vehicles for tampering, especially when parked in an unfamiliar area. Keep doors locked and windows rolled up when parked. Alter routes and avoid choke points. Use different parking places. Know safe locations along the route. Avoid markings that associate a vehicle with government affiliation or military rank. Always remove base stickers when selling or disposing of a privately-owned vehicle. Consider wearing civilian clothing when riding on mass transit.
· Observe home security – Talk to family members about residential security and safety procedures. Establish a duress word that would serve as a clue that a family member is in trouble. Use peephole viewers before opening the door. Ensure the area outside the home is sufficiently lit to deter intruders. Be alert to strangers who are on government property for no apparent reason.
· Look out for your personal security – Shred unneeded paperwork that shows name, rank or other personal information. Talk to family members about personal security; discourage sharing such information with others, particularly on the Internet. Be cautious when discussing travel plans or security measures. Avoid nameplates on homes/military quarters. Avoid the use of names and ranks on answering machines. Refuse to meet strangers outside of the workplace.
· Remember telephone security – Always verify the name/purpose of callers. Don’t provide personal or sensitive information over the phone. If the call is hostile or a bomb threat, take notes – time, gender, language, location of planned attacks, and any other details that will help law enforcement with their response. Those on post can dial *57, wait for the confirmation message that traces the caller, and then report the incident to Fort Gregg-Adams Law Enforcement as soon as possible at (804) 734-7400.
For more information about individual protective measures contact your unit Antiterrorism Officer or the Fort Gregg-Adams Antiterrorism Officer, Patrick Winters at 804-734-1575.