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Eagle Eyes vital to spotting danger

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Stephanie Serrano
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Everyone plays a vital role in the protection of the nation’s safety and security; whether or not active-duty or retired military, civilian or family members, when someone sees suspicious activity they can report it.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigation administers an Air Force-wide program called Eagle Eyes. It's an anti-terrorism initiative that teaches individuals how to identify and report possible terrorist activity. The program provides a 24-hour hotline, allowing information to be reported as soon as suspicious activity occurs. Reports are disseminated among federal and local law agencies, as well as to commanders, in order to ensure appropriate action is taken.

"Throughout the Air Force, the 'every Airman is a sensor' concept is briefed to all," said Special Agent Shawn Bedard. "Besides being just a 'buzz' phrase, we can easily fulfill this concept by being aware."

Knowing what to look for and the procedures to take in the event you notice suspicious activity are the keys to mission effectiveness.

The following categories of suspicious behavior are guidelines of what to look for and report.

Surveillance -- overt and covert: This is the first and most important element to be cognizant about. Examples of overt surveillance include any person recording or monitoring activities to include using cameras (still or video), binoculars, note taking and drawings or maps. Covert surveillance would be someone on the side of the road pretending to fix a flat tire.

"To the untrained eye, this is a typical sight to the daily driver passing by," Bedard said. However, that person fixing the tire has positioned his vehicle in which he can 'fix' his flat and observe his target while remaining undetected for a significant period of time."

Elicitation: The attempt to gain information about military operations, capabilities or personnel through methods such as mail, fax, telephone or in person.

Tests of security: Attempts to measure reaction times and security strengths and weaknesses, such as causing a commotion at the base gate to see how long it takes security forces to react and what procedures they follow.

Acquiring supplies: Obtaining items such as weapons, ammunition, detonators, timers, military uniform, decals, badges and passes.

Suspicious persons out of place: Anything out of the ordinary; a person who looks out of place or doesn't look like they belong in your neighborhood, office space or commute.

Dry run: Putting people in positions or moving them according to their plans without actually committing the terrorist act.

Deploying assets: This is the final behavior and last chance to alert authorities before the terrorist act takes place. People and supplies are put into motion to commit the act.

If something looks out of place, don't hesitate to report it. Alert the proper authorities through all channels possible. Any information can be helpful. It is always better to report an incident to security and law enforcement officials.

"If something or someone makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and you dismiss it as being paranoid, the incident you observed might have been something of value to force protection" Bedard said.

Visit the Eagle Eyes website to learn more about the program or to report suspicious activity.