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All Airmen responsible for base defense

All Airmen responsible for base defense

Base law enforcement agencies recommend Airmen use the SALUTE reporting method to report suspicious activity. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Halle Thornton)

While everyone who works at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, has a specific job, the installation’s law enforcement agencies are reminding Airmen they all share a critical area of responsibility: base defense.


“Every Airman is a sensor,” said 1st. Lt. Robert Scholl, operations officer with the 50th Security Forces Squadron. “Our primary mission is base defense, but we need every Airman on this base to be a force multiplier.”


Though most Airmen do not carry weapons on a daily basis, Scholl said they are a weapon system for base defense.


“The phrase, ‘if you see something, say something,’is crucial to us being able to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to base defense,” Scholl said. “We have numerous lines of defense throughout the base, but one of the most important is our Airmen.”


Scholl said security forces employ a concept known as security in-depth.


“The big thing we focus on is not having a single point of failure,” Scholl said. “Schriever has a very robust defense force and procedures in place to ensure our safety. There are backups to backups.”


Base defenders recently installed a new overwatch position to beef up base security.


“We’re always improving where we can,” Scholl said. “Things like overwatch positions give us a great field of view on approaches to the installation; it’s all about layers.”


Scholl said it is important Airmen report suspicious activity on and off the base.


“Reporting concerns that happen off base, can help us anticipate or posture with heightened security if a situation calls for it,” Scholl said. “If you hear or see something that appears to have ominous intent to the base or our Airmen, let us know.”


To report suspicious behavior, Scholl said Airmen should use the SALUTE reporting method.


SALUTE stands for: Size, Activity, Location, Uniform, Time and Equipment.


“Through SALUTE, you’re able to get a clear site picture to convey to first responders,” Scholl said. “It helps us to know what to expect on scene so that we come fully prepared to mitigate that situation. Basically, we want to know who is doing what, where, how and what they may have with them that could pose a threat to responders.”


While base defenders are on the front lines of collecting threat information, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is right beside them monitoring the Eagle Eyes program.


“Eagle Eyes is a program for people to report any kind of suspicious activity,” said Sade Spencer, special agent with Detachment 807, AFOSI. “People can call to make reports, leave their information for follow-up questions or can make reports anonymously if they so desire.”


Spencer said Airmen can help OSI agents keep the base secure by notifying authorities when they see or hear something out of the norm.


“Even if it’s something you think might not be that important, it very well may be,” she said. “Sometimes, any one tip on its own may not seem like much, but they can establish trends or lead us to discover patterns of suspicious activities.”


The OSI agent pointed to recent security threats across the U.S. as reasons people should always be vigilant.


“It’s especially important in today’s day and age with school incidents and security concerns that people pay particular importance to base defense and indicators that could threaten it,” she said.


Spencer gave examples.


“Suspicious activity includes: people taking pictures of the restricted area, people lingering outside the gates, strange vehicles and phone calls asking for classified information,” she said. “This isn’t all-inclusive. Basically, if something doesn’t seem right to you and raises a red flag, report it.”


To report suspicious activity, Airmen can call security forces and the Eagle Eyes program at 567-6464.

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