HomeNewsArticle Display

Center professionals helping fight terrorism

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFPN) -- A well-trained terrorist looks for ways to exploit his target's vulnerabilities; however, through training and vigilance, the malicious deeds of America's enemies can be foiled.

That is the message people from the U.S. Air Force Counterproliferation Center here want to spread.

With the motto, "We cannot afford to be the unready confronting the unthinkable," a staff of 12 civilians, active-duty Airmen, Guardsmen and reservists are helping counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction by using education and research.

"(The center) was set up to help future Air Force leaders better understand (the weapons of mass destruction) issue," said center director Dr. Barry Schneider. "The center's primary mandates are education and research concerning chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-explosive devices and helping educate first-responders handling (these) situations."

Most recently, the center has branched into homeland security and homeland-defense education and research, Dr. Schneider said.

One example of the center's research, he said, involved center workers researching chemical and biological weapons used against domestic political opponents in countries like Mozambique, Libya and Angola. They also investigated how and where the weapons were deployed.

"This was some fairly new stuff, and we financed some very good original research into this area," Dr. Schneider said.

Col. Michael Ritz said he tries to make his audience aware of what they might be up against when dealing with weapons of mass destruction and that, with proper training and by using active and passive defenses, a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event is not necessarily the "end of the world."

"The key is awareness and vigilance and an understanding that if something does happen, lives can be saved and the effects can be reduced," said Colonel Ritz who is an active-duty Air National Guard officer. He is the associate director of the center and the ANG adviser to the center director.

Colonel Ritz said active defenses would include missile systems that knock out cruise missiles aimed at the United States. Passive defense encompasses protective masks and clothing, inoculation against anthrax, smallpox and other biological agents and X-ray machines at airports.

The center's educational involvement at Air War College is done through core and elective courses. Similar courses are also taught at Air Command and Staff College; College for Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education; and other Air Force and ANG school and commands.

According to Dr. Schneider, the center will continue expanding its educational outreach to the Department of Defense over the next several months using cutting-edge electronic information technologies. These include enhanced digital video broadcasting and distribution of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event course modules on compact disc and DVD.

"Americans should guard against homeland security complacency as complacency can also become our enemy," Colonel Ritz said. "It is quite possible that it is impossible to create a perfect world. We must be ready for the bad guys." (Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Bringing them home. More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from #WWII through the Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The…
RT @USAF_ACC: Today is POW/MIA Day. We will forever remember and honor the lives lost fighting for our country. 🇺🇸 #USAF #POWMIARecognitio
Weren't able to make #ASC19 this year? No problem. We've got the goods. Push ▶️ to hear from first-time attendees a… https://t.co/rEOE1eukwz
Howdy Texans! #AmerciasAirForce is heading to the #lonestarstate on Sept. 27. Hear this #Airman share his love for… https://t.co/BS1ysk4ST3
The return of great power competition requires the U.S. military services to change and adapt quickly. Hear from De… https://t.co/kKiNeHywzp
RT @AirMobilityCmd: The four fans of freedom are blowing strong as a U.S Air Force C-130J Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansa…
RT @ActingSecAF: Kudos to @AirForceAssoc on #ASC19 👏🏻 What a wonderful professional opportunity for #Airmen & industry to expand our compe…
.@ACC_Commander designates the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered #AirForce at #ASC19. As… https://t.co/LMiMJ3rWNO
RT @AstroHague: Thank you to the Airmen across the globe who make the human exploration of space possible. Wishing the @usairforce a happy…
RT @Hanscom_AFB: “The @usairforce is leading the charge across @DeptofDefense. No one else in #government has as much ... of this software…
RT @PACAF: Commanders from Australia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. met for the 2019 Logistics and Safet…
To all those who helped establish the long blue line past, present and future, we honor you and we remember with th… https://t.co/teymF7proy
#ASC19: "We’re all in this together trying to make your service to country the best experience on the planet. We w… https://t.co/rdbCDBJr2c
#VCSAF Gen. Stephen Wilson speaks on what makes the #AirForce unique. #ASC19 https://t.co/gStwUZoaQC
RT @AFSpace: @AstroHague takes #aimhigh to the extreme by celebrating the @usairforce's birthday from the @Space_Station! #FrontiersofBlue
RT @VP: Happy 72nd birthday to the @usairforce! On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to the amazing men and women of the Air Force for…
#ASC19: There's a challenge to maintain warfighting capabilities until new bombers and missiles arrive. Hear more f… https://t.co/SWB3VjNod8
#ASC19: Want to know which three acquisition trends #AirForce acquisition experts believe should "go viral?" Click… https://t.co/hsiH3oQXOX
RT @NSAGov: Happy Birthday to the @usairforce! For 72 years you've taught us to aim high. We look forward to continuing to fly, fight, and…
RT @AFGlobalStrike: The Air Force is celebrating 72 years of service, so here is 72 seconds of Global Strike Command! #USAFBday #ThisIs72 h…