SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --
Terrorism has plagued civilization for thousands of years, taking on different forms and evolving alongside technology to remain a constant threat.
August is Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month and the 50th Security Forces Squadron’s anti-terrorism personnel advise Airmen throughout Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, to keep an “eagle eye” open for items which seem out of place or other suspicious signs, and if you “see something, say something.”
“Seeing something and saying something is essential to preventing incidents, and being aware of your surroundings benefits both anti-terrorism measures and individual safety,” said Tad Davis, anti-terrorism program manager with the 50th SFS.
Suspicious signs include bags or boxes left alone, especially roadside, individuals dropping bags or packages on the ground and walking away, cuts and holes in security fences, civilian cars driving near the fence line and individuals appearing to conduct surveillance not in uniform.
“If you are walking along, and all of a sudden there’s a briefcase or box just lying there with nobody around, has no delivery address and/or is in front of one of the portals, that can be something considered suspicious,” Davis said. “If you find anything that looks out of place, call the Base Defense Operations Center.”
Staff Sgt. Paul Larson, also an anti-terrorism program manager with the 50th SFS, added how Airmen should pay attention when interacting with others off base. Red flags include individuals asking questions such as “how many personnel do you work with?” or “what are your mission assets?” and asking for specific quantifications and numbers related to the base and mission.
“Dates, times - anything out of the ordinary - it’s important you look out for,” he said. “Especially someone you just met.”
Foreign travel is another security aspect Airmen must heed for base safety. All Department of Defense personnel must follow the Foreign Travel Checklist provided by their unit’s anti-terrorism representative, to look into the country they are going to, and become familiarized with its possible prohibitions and requirements. These measures can apply to both official and unofficial travel, such as personal leave.
As opposed to counter-terrorism measures, which more aggressively pursue links to terrorism and employ offensive measures, anti-terrorism focuses on the defense. Davis, Larson and other anti-terrorism experts conduct vulnerability assessments, special event assessments and check fence lines, barriers and infrastructure.
“We have a very robust program,” Davis said. “We are always conducting security operations and we make it as hard as possible for people who wish to do harm.”
At the command level, Wing leadership regularly engages in the anti-terror threat identification and decision making process.
Schriever’s anti-terrorist program includes a threat working group, which consists of The Office of Special Investigations, security forces, emergency personnel and other agencies, as well as an anti-terrorist executive committee, which is chaired by the wing commander.
“We brief new commanders on the program, tracking foreign travel and other aspects,” Larson said. “All commanders are kept informed of our plans to keep the base safe.”
Larson and Davis agreed the greatest measure for ensuring the base populace’s safety is for every Airmen to watch for and report possible threats.
“There have always been terrorists, and there have always been terrorist attacks,” Davis said. “We want to make Schriever a hard target for them, and it begins with each individual.”
Airmen can report suspicious items or signs by contacting the BDOC at 567-6464.