KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – September is a month that brings a sense of renewal and purpose as many kids head back to school and we close out our fiscal year budgets. In September, we transition from warm summer days to the crisp air of early autumn. Students, families and government employees/agencies approach September with a feeling of eager anticipation, reflecting on the past year, hopeful for new beginnings and the possibility/opportunity to have the ‘best year ever’ in the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC).
But September is more than new backpacks filled with hope and fiscal year-end close outs (also filled with hope). September is a month dedicated to community awareness, preparedness, safety, and security.
September is National Preparedness Month, a time to remind our community to take proactive steps to safeguard themselves and their loved ones, especially in the face of potential emergencies. Shifting weather patterns make it crucial for community members to be prepared.
Recall, for example, the flooding event that affected North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate caused by heavy rainfall in 2021 which resulted in a state of emergency declaration, hundreds of deaths and billions in damages.
September is also National Insider Threat Awareness Month (NITAM), a time to remind the community about the importance of identifying and addressing potential insider threats across the national security community. During NITAM, federal agencies, departments, and industries work together to emphasize the importance of preparing the workforce to deter, detect and mitigate threats posed from trusted insiders.
For the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) Protection Branch team, making these two campaigns meaningful to the community is paramount. To kickoff these important campaigns, two key members of the team Michael Harris, Emergency Management Specialist, and Marc Hartman, Special Agent, Army Counterintelligence, took to the radio airwaves on Sept. 6, joining the AFN Kaiserslautern crew on the Morning Magic broadcast show (105.1FM).
Harris discussed National Preparedness Month in terms of emergency preparedness family planning, how to build an emergency kit and how to stay informed, highlighting the “Ready.gov” website as a trusted and valuable resource.
Hartman delved into the significance of NITAM, explaining what constitutes an “insider” – anyone with or previously granted authorized access to classified or controlled unclassified information, as well as access to Department of Defense facilities or information network systems.
But the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz team efforts didn’t stop there. The team partnered with the Public Affairs Office to launch a social media awareness campaign, declaring Mondays as “National Preparedness Month Mondays,” in which a fresh set of practical tips and information relating to National Preparedness are posted to USAG Rheinland-Pfalz’s social media platforms. Thursdays throughout the month are designated as “Insider Threat Thursdays” where USAG Rheinland-Pfalz shares essential insights and messages about insider threat awareness on all the garrison’s social media (be sure to like and follow ‘U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz’ on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/army.rp and Instagram, ‘usag_rp’)
And, the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz commitment to community education and safety continues beyond the digital realm. The DPTMS Protection Branch team has informative tabletop displays set up in the Rhine Ordnance Barracks dining facility, ensuring anyone stopping in for one of their world-class meals, has access to vital preparedness and threat information, as well as some ‘free swag’ (and maybe some gummy bears too). Additionally, there are cardboard standees featuring life-size, familiar faces from across the garrison, strategically placed at locations throughout the community. The standees display interchangeable reminders of the importance of vigilance and preparedness.
“It’s all about getting the information out to the community,” said Dennis Mathis, Security Specialist, Protection Branch and awareness campaign coordinator for DPTMS. “We want to remind everyone to be vigilant at all times, be aware of your surroundings, make a plan for you and your family in case of emergencies and finally, know when, where and how to submit a report.”
Some important resources and things to know in reference to National Preparedness Month:
Step 1: Build your emergency supply kit. Consider specific supply needs in your household (think ages of family members, dietary needs, medical needs, disabilities, pets, etc.).
Step 2: Create a family emergency plan (great examples can be found at: https://www.ready.gov/plan-form). Discuss evacuation routes, family communications and practice with the whole family.
Step 3: Stay informed!
✔️Ensure you are registered to receive ALERT! [text] messages: https://alert.csd.disa.mil/
✔️Take a look at FEMA’s public service campaign encouraging Americans to plan for disasters: https://www.ready.gov/
✔️Visit HQDA’s Emergency preparedness website: www.ready.army.mil
Remember, the emergency management team at USAG Rheinland-Pfalz is here to assist! If you have questions or need any assistance, reach out to Michael Harris, DSN: 314-541-3503, firstname.lastname@example.org or email USAG RP Protection [org box], email@example.com
Some important resources and things to know in reference to National Insider Threat Awareness Month:
What is an “insider”? An Insider is any person who has, or once had, authorized access to classified and controlled unclassified information, or who currently have authorized and controlled unclassified information, or who currently have authorized access to a Department of Defense facility, information network system, or other resources of access to a Department of Defense facility, information network system, or other resources of the Department of Defense.
What is an “insider threat”? An insider threat is a threat to the Department of Defense by an Insider who use their authorized access, wittingly, to harm the security of the United States through espionage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure of National Security information, or through the loss or degradation of department resources or capabilities. This includes physical harm to another in the workplace.
How can people report insider threat situations?
✔️1-800-CALL-SPY (1-800-225-5779) [CONUS ONLY]
✔️ iSALUTE – Suspicious Activity Report, https://www.inscom.army.mil/isalute/
✔️ In cases where there is immediate danger, please call the MP Desk at 0631-536-6060
✔️The Army Counterintelligence 24-hour number is 0162 296 3860
✔️Additional after-hours and emergency numbers available on USAG Rheinland-Pfalz website, https://home.army.mil/rheinland-pfalz/contact/emergency-numbers
Vigilance is key for both National Preparedness Month and Insider Threat Awareness Month, so be sure to stop by the DFAC on Rhine Ordnance Barracks to stay informed!
With this proactive awareness campaign approach, the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz team is turning September into a month of community readiness and empowerment, equipping members with the knowledge and resources needed to face whatever challenges the future may hold.
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz serves, supports, and secures the total force community enabling power projection for the European Theater.