LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. — As foreign travel increases within the Department of Defense community, the risk of foreign intelligence targeting also increases. Individuals can be the target of a foreign intelligence or security service at any time and any place; however, the possibility of becoming the target of foreign intelligence activities is greater when you travel overseas. The foreign intelligence services have better access to you, and their actions are not restricted within their own country’s borders.
Understanding this, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) has streamlined the foreign travel briefing program to better serve active-duty Air Force members and Department of the Air Force civilian employees. These programs include foreign travel pre-brief and foreign travel de-brief surveys and a streamlined process in reporting your foreign travel and obtaining an AFOSI foreign travel briefing.
Personnel who travel to overseas locations shall receive foreign intelligence threat briefings and anti-terrorism briefings from AFOSI prior to their departure.
“Previously, organizations at individual installations would monitor, report and produce internal guidance on foreign travel and complete briefings for those personnel traveling abroad,” said Special Agent Peter Van Damme. “As we communicated with those units, it was apparent the process was not designed to deal with the amount of foreign travel conducted by base personnel. Since AFOSI is chartered to provide foreign travel pre/de-brief services to protect service members, Air Force technology and DOD assets, we decided to develop a better process.”
AFOSI collaborated with Headquarters Air Force to develop a web-based interface accessible through the Air Force Portal. Joint efforts resulted in an unclassified foreign travel pre-brief slide presentation; unclassified pre-brief survey; unclassified de-brief survey and the AFOSI Foreign Travel Guide that can be easily accessed through the Air Force Portal. In addition, it provides access to key websites in support of your travel.
Members are required to complete a foreign travel pre-brief survey any time they travel abroad and should include each country they intend to visit. Threats to USAF personnel are ever-changing and utilizing the pre-brief and debrief survey allows AFOSI to review the data and determine the most appropriate forum for a briefing given current threat postures regarding specific travel destinations.
“The surveys are vital in protecting Air Force personnel and resources and it is extremely important that these surveys are completed each time you travel abroad,” Van Damme said. “Exceptions may apply. An example would be if you have multiple overseas travels in a short time frame, then you could include all locations into one pre and post survey.”
This survey program was developed with the safety of the Air Force member/employee in mind, military and civilian, as well as protecting Air Force technology and resources. The first step in successfully defending against a threat is to understand the threat(s). These surveys are a first step in allowing AFOSI to effectively and efficiently ensure personnel are properly briefed based upon current threat postures.
Please contact your local AFOSI office with any questions/concerns you may have concerning the foreign travel briefing program. The new foreign travel program can be found on the ACC website (http://www.acc.af.mil/index.asp) or the Air Force Portal at,(https://www.my.af.mil/gcssaf/USAF/ep/globalTab.dochannelPageId=s88B4F00B2D70DF4E012DBE0975FE0BAB) or by typing in “foreign travel” within the Air Force Portal search filed to locate the webpage.