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NEWS | Aug. 31, 2011

Be prepared, be aware, and report: “YOU” may make the difference!

By J. Dwayne Gunther Joint Base Charleston, Chief, Antiterrorism Officer

Terrorist don't discriminate. If you're an American, you're a potential target in the eyes of terrorists groups around the world. With the "9/11 Anniversary" fast approaching, it is important to remember a few Antiterrorism procedures to ensure the safety of yourself and family.

In direct action after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States Air Force implemented an aggressive program called "Eagle Eyes." The "Eagle Eyes" program is an antiterrorism initiative enlists the eyes and ears of military members and citizens in the war on terror. This program is managed by the local Air Force Office of Special Investigations and with the assistance of everyone within Joint Base Charleston, the main program goal is to watch, report and detect. It starts with teaching people about the typical activities terrorists engage in to plan attacks. Armed with this information, you can assist law enforcement organizations by recognizing elements of potential terror planning.

While traveling to and from work, around the installation and local community, or while out with the family, your "eyes and ears" are an instrumental force multiplier to JB CHS security and first responders. In times like these, your awareness and reporting may just be the key that saves the life of one or hundreds of innocent victims. All reports are taken seriously and immediately shared with appropriate law enforcement agencies and military commanders for rapid assessment and investigation.

Report these key suspicious behaviors:

Surveillance: Someone recording or monitoring activities, including the use of cameras or video, note taking, drawing diagrams, writing on maps, using binoculars or any other vision-enhancing device. Be suspicious and cautious and report suspicious activity to your supervisor or security forces.

Elicitation: Anyone or any organization attempting to gain information by mail, fax, telephone or in person about military operations and people. Useful information to a potential terrorist includes casual conversation or unusual questions about security at JB CHS, the number of building occupants and tenant organizations, shift schedules or changes, utility services or other sensitive information.

Tests of security: Any attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches or to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures. False alarms, unexplained delivery vehicles, using false identification are all attempts to bypass security.

Acquiring supplies: Purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons, ammunition, uniforms, decals, flight manuals, passes or badges (or equipment to make them) or any other controlled items. Report unusual activities or people bringing unusual items onto a facility such as nails, duct tape, unknown liquids, powders or solids, wires and power supplies.

Suspicious persons out of place: People who do not seem to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishments, or anywhere else. This includes suspicious border crossings, stowaways aboard ships or people jumping ship in port. Look for that person who is overdressed for the weather, unexplained nervousness, looks out of place or does not fit the area in general. If you note a frequent unexplained sighting of a specific person, report it.

Dry runs: Putting people into position and moving them about without actually committing a terrorist act such as a kidnapping or bombing. An element or this activity could also include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow patterns. Report any suspicious person or vehicle that appear to be rehearsing something; may be carrying maps or timing devices, taking notes, pacing off distances or conducting timing of traffic flow.

Individuals staging equipment: People and supplies getting into position to commit the act. This is the best opportunity to alert the authorities before the terrorism occurs. Immediately notify security personnel if you find a potential abandoned or an illegally parked vehicle.

You are a critical weapon in our war against terrorism. You and your families are encouraged to be aware, be alert and report any suspicious activities. Your inputs are critical in the defense of JB CHS, your neighborhood, community and most importantly, our country.

To report suspicious activities call the 628th Security Forces Base Defense Operations Center, at the following numbers...

Air Base: 963-3600
Naval Weapons Station: 764-7777

If in your local community, contact the nearest local law enforcement agency. Remember, "BE AWARE, BE ALERT, AND REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES"