Anti-terrorism Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Monte Stephens
  • 366th Fighter Wing Air Staff

August is Anti-terrorism Awareness Month, which is intended to raise awareness not only of the persistent threat of terrorism, but to encourage vigilance and reporting of potential threats. Next year marks the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and this could never be more important. For us as a nation this is two-fold; we have been successful in preventing another major attack against the homeland, while on the opposite side, we continue to mourn the lives lost in not only the attacks but those fighting the battle. We all have someone or know of someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice.

Together, we can mitigate being a target of all forms of terrorism and enjoy all of the great benefits we are offered here in America. Terrorism is a persistent and enduring threat to the Air Force and the nation. Acts of terrorists and violent extremists remain constant at open access events, mass gatherings, outside the perimeter of secured events, or other locations frequently associated with crowded places. It is paramount that everyone remain vigilant and increase their safety awareness and that of their family members. Report suspicious behavior. Practice good operation security, practice what you have learned and speak up.

What is considered suspicious is probably a key question that enters everyone’s mind when they see something unusual. The answer is, if you are already questioning this in your mind, report it, and let the professionals make the determination. A simple report of a suspicious observation can lead to action that may stop a violent attack.

Indicators to watch for include, but are not limited to the following: people drawing or measuring important buildings; strangers asking questions about security procedures; briefcase, suitcase, backpack, or package left behind; vehicles left in “no parking” zones in front of important buildings; intruders in secure areas where they do not belong; chemical smells or fumes that seem of the ordinary for location; people purchasing bomb or weapon making materials; and people asking questions about sensitive information such as building blueprints, security plans, or VIP travel.

Key notes to take are: date and time the activity occurred; where the activity occurred; physical descriptions of the people involved; description of the vehicle(s) involved; describe what you saw or heard; and provide pictures if possible.

Along these lines, it’s also important for people to know who and where they should report suspicious behavior or activity. Emergencies should always be reported by calling 911, but non-emergency suspicious behavior can also be reported to Security Forces here at 208-828-2257 or 208-828-2257.

Bottom line: “See Something Say Something” and Remain Vigilant.