Commentary

December 12, 2013

SA: Identifying threats before they become a danger

Commentary by 355th Fighter Wing Anti-terrorism office

Situational awareness is not a skill only practiced by government officials, private security subject matter experts or highly trained Office of Special Investigation agents. Situational awareness is a MINDSET that should be and can be practiced by any individual in order to quickly recognize an emerging threat. It does not have to be a TERRORISM THREAT! Situational awareness is the identification of dangerous situations, criminal behavior or potential threat and reporting to law enforcement.

Having the mindset alone is not sufficient enough to defeat any threat. We have limited resources from a security perspective but can easily multiply these resources if we all participate daily on situational awareness. Understanding that we all have a responsibility to take action in our own security is a key part of this mindset. We must constantly remind ourselves not to operate in a “tuned out” attitude. When we operate in a “tuned out” attitude potential threats can easily become realistic threats.

We all have experienced a moment in our lives when our “gut” or “internal instinct” tell us that something is not right with a particular situation we have just witnessed. Threats exist and we cannot stop every bad actor from committing to their dangerous destructive path but we can influence their selection of a target area or reconsider their choices. Trust your “gut” or “internal instinct” and contact the Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC) or Eagle Eyes Lines. Situational awareness does not mean you are an over paranoid individual or maybe an individual overly concerned with security. It means you are actively participating in ensuring the security of DMAFB and our community.

A random antiterrorism measure team (RAMT) has been formed as a joint initiative composed of the Antiterrorism, OPSEC and Flight line protection programs to help increase our situational awareness around the installation. This team will perform simple techniques around the installation for short periods of time. The techniques are primarily focused on increasing situational awareness. The team will coordinate with unit commanders before executing the techniques. Units will be selected at random. The teams’ efforts due not replace other security activities.

We are living in a time of conflict and our enemies and those that wish to cause harm in order to gain publicity for their cause will continue to seek innovative ways to carry out their attacks. Home Grown Violent Extremist Groups continue to have successful attacks in mass public areas, remember the Boston Marathon bombings! Air Force personnel must continue to maintain situational awareness and active vigilance. HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS SEASON!

The team encourages commanders to contact the 355 FW/ATO, XP or IG if they would like certain areas tested within their units. If You See Something…….Say something! Report suspicious activity to BDOC at 520-228-3200 or Eagle Eyes at 520-228-8888.




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(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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