Your eyes, ears essential to fight terrorism

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Tracy Giles
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe News Service
You're having a conversation with a group of people and you hear something that you perceive to be highly unusual or threatening or you see a car parked nearby that doesn't belong. You get the feeling that something isn't quite right.

Don't hesitate to let security forces or Air Force Office of Special Investigations agents know. Your discerning eyes and intent listening skills are crucial to the successful apprehension of terrorists and the prevention of future terrorist attacks.

"World events make it clear that it is imperative, more than it has ever been, for each one of us to guard against complacency and remember that we are under the constant threat of terrorism," said Col. John Salley, headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe security forces director here.

"Security forces and AFOSI agents work diligently everyday to ensure our security and safety," said Salley. "They cannot accomplish this without the efforts and keen sense of awareness from you and your family. It is the responsibility of each one of us to ensure we live in a secure environment."

According to Salley, there are some specific things you can do to fulfill your responsibility to force protection:

* Report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to security forces or AFOSI.

* Always remember to use your individual protection measures, such as varying your travel routines to make yourself less predictable.

* Implement sound security practices like securing personal items and locking your car when unattended, inspect your car for signs of tampering prior to travel and lock the house when you leave.

* Participate in or establish an Eagle Eyes or neighborhood watch program in your community housing area.

* Maintain situational awareness by remaining alert and knowing your surroundings, including your housing area and neighbors if in the local community.

* Make sure you know the emergency services (police, fire department, ambulance) phone numbers for the neighborhood in which you are living.

In addition to this, all active-duty members, Department of Defense civilians, and their family members, 14 years and older, are required to receive antiterrorism/force protection Level I briefing prior to permanent change of station travel to an overseas location said Salley.

According to the colonel, this training focuses on the local threat environment in the area you are to be stationed and is then conducted on an annual basis while members are stationed overseas. If you have not received your training, please contact your installation AT/FP officer.

"Throughout the (Air Force) we will continue conducting installation entry control procedures, large vehicle searches, random vehicle inspections and antiterrorism measures, and our threat dissemination process to serve as a deterrent and appear less predictable to the potential terrorist," said Salley.

"We understand that the lines and additional security checks can be frustrating," he said. "Your patience and understanding for the important job our security forces do is greatly appreciated. Our efforts combined with your help are crucial to the success of our war against terrorism and our ability to ensure your safety."