By Reginald Rogers/ParaglideApril 1, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Fort Bragg is the Army's largest installation in both, size and population. In fact, the post is North Carolina's fifth largest city. So as with any city its size, the post officials are required to be prepared for any situation that may threaten its citizens.
In 2010, Fort Bragg's level of preparedness was better than every other Army installation.
Post officials have reason to celebrate as the post was recently named winner of the 2010 Best Army Antiterrorism program, fixed installation unit award, which it received in January.
Fort Bragg's guidebook for countering terrorism and other possible scenarios, such as an active shooter, biological attacks or major fires is so impressive, that the Army is currently looking to standardize it for all of its installations.
"This week, the Directorate of Emergency Services is hosting the major tenants, such as Womack Army Medical Center, Directorate of Public Works, the Army Community Service and every agency that would be involved if we had a major catastrophe, " explained Andy Albright, installation chief of security and intelligence. "We're going over 18 planned scenarios - 15 national planning scenarios for all hazards, plus three specific to the Department of Defense."
Albright pointed out that Fort Bragg is the first in the Army to develop National Incident Management System compliant checklists and because of that, the Installation Management Command headquarters is looking at the checklist to standardize the Army.
Albright gave an example in last year's shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, which left - Soldiers dead and 32 wounded.
"They didn't have a checklist," he said. "We're covering everything from pandemic to active shooter to bomb threat and large fire. It will be posted to the senior commander so that he can know where his decision points are, as the senior commander."
Albright said that information is helpful to the senior commander, Maj. Gen. Rodney O. Anderson, who is currently in the position while Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general is deployed with the XVIII Airborne Corps staff.
"We are the first one's to have it," Albright continued, adding that the checklists will be loaded into Web EOC, giving IMCOM headquarters the ability to see the Fort Bragg checklist as information is added.
"We believe that we will be the 2011 winner of the award also," Albright said. "Based on being the first in the Army to execute this. That's a lot of work out of Keith Lundquist's shop, specifically."
Lundquist said the key component of the post's all hazards effort is to emphasize "team protection" for all units, including tenant commands, such as the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg Garrison and the XVIII Abn. Corps.
Albright said it's important now for the post to focus on Hurricane season, which will begin in the upcoming weeks. He said he also wants the Fort Bragg community to have confidence in their efforts, especially since the Army has recognized that Fort Bragg's antiterrorism effort is the best across the ranks.
Albright said one reason the community should remain confident in the post's antiterrorism protection program is because every tenant on post and now, Pope Field, are all on the same page when it comes to reacting to a realistic threat, whether it's a natural catastrophe or a man-made, chemical-biological attack.
"Pope will be treated as every other tenant on the installation," Lundquist said. "We've included them into this meeting because of the Base Closure and Realignment decision. Now they fall under the senior commander's umbrella. Prior to BRAC, they had their own umbrella. We call it Team Protect."
Albright pointed out that the post's O-9 tenants include USASOC and the Joint Special Operations Command.
"This summer we will have an O-10 tenant in Forces Command," he said.
Albright added that no tenant is subordinate, but the Army designates, on every installation, one commander as the senior commander, who is responsible for protecting everything from road repair to flushing toilets to all hazard protection.
"It's a housekeeping responsibility and while the corps is deployed, Task Force-Bragg is commanded by Major General Anderson, who is very much engaged and very proactive," Albright said. "He's very receptive (of the initiative)."
Lundquist said Fort Bragg normally places in the antiterrorism awards program and has even taken home the trophy in previous years, despite being second runner-up last year to the Department of the Army's antiterrorism program.
"It feels good, I think everyone should be proud of it because it belongs to the installation. It's Team Protect," he added.
For Lundquist, the work toward winning another award does not stop. Albright pointed out that he is currently working on the 2011 award.
They said it's also important that Fort Bragg citizens remember the importance of the Army's iWatch, which allows them to report any suspicious activities to the proper authorities.
As part of the Antiterrorism Awareness campaign, Fort Bragg officials implemented the iWatch Army program on Aug. 1, 2010. The iWatch, program is a modern version of Neighborhood Watch, which was developed by the Los Angeles Police Department to encourage and enable its citizens to identify and report suspicious behavior in their communities.
Any suspicious activity around Fort Bragg, which may include someone trying to gain access to critical sites and buildings, terroristic phone calls or anything that is believed to be a threat, should be directed to authorities by dialing 90-REACT (907-3227).