Civilian's Role in Force Protection

  • Published
  • By SA Jennifer-Ruth Green
  • AFOSI Detachment 810
If given the opportunity to prevent an attack, would you do it? Of course you would. Inside everyone exists the desire to make a difference.

If you knew of a pending threat to United States persons would you report it? Of course you would. Would you know how to report it or to whom? As United States persons working on or living near U.S. military installations, if there is an attack, you will probably experience the effects whether they be physically, emotionally, or monetarily. Fortunately, you do not have to sit idly by and wait for an attack to occur...You can help prevent one! The U.S. Air Force has developed a program called Eagle Eyes. It is an Air Force-wide program intended to deter terrorism by recognizing and reporting pre-attack activities. Essentially, it is a global "neighborhood watch." The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is responsible for educating both on and off base communities to watch for and report any incidents that appear to be an immediate Force Protection concern.

The key to this program is that every terrorist act is preceded by observable planning and activities. These events have been separated into seven major categories.

1. Surveillance
2. Elicitation
3. Tests of Security
4. Acquiring supplies
5. Suspicious people who "don't belong"
6. Dry run
7. Deploying assets, getting into position

The activities closer to the top of the list are where terrorists are most vulnerable. The activities at the bottom of the list are where we are most vulnerable. This is best explained by understanding that in order to determine a plan of attack, locations must be surveyed and information must be gathered. There would be no sense initiating an attack that could not be completed. So, with that in mind, attackers must expose themselves to their target. These initial events are where we need everyone's assistance. We need everyone's eyes and ears vigilantly watching and listening for anything that may seem out of place.

Generally humans enjoy being able to help one another. If someone approached you on the street and asked for directions, you would probably tell them how to get there. If it was on your way, you would probably show them how to get there. There is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to be helpful; however, we need to be more aware of the kind of help we are offering. What I mean is this: In an initial conversation with someone you have never met before while making small talk it is common place to discuss work life and the local area. Be on guard for questions that seemingly have no place or concern security issues. If one question catches you off guard, it is very important to keep the information to yourself. All it takes is one question. Remember, if someone asks enough people a single question, they can collect a lot of information. Questions such as: Can anyone just walk on the base? When is the base open? How many entrances does it have, can definitely be used in an attempt to breach security.

Protect yourself and your family. Be vigilant. Take note of security oriented questions and people.

If you have any information at any time do not investigate further. Allow trained professionals to sort out the facts. Contact Los Angeles AFB Security Force at (310) 652-2121 or the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 810 at (310) 653-3937. Thank you for being our eyes and ears and helping us to protect you.