NEWS | June 24, 2016

Protect yourself and your families

By J. Dwayne Gunther, chief Antiterrorism Advisor

If you're an American, most assuredly you're a potential target in the eyes of terrorists groups around the world. The horrific violence of the Orlando shooting and its aftermath reinforces the knowledge that those in and out of uniform may be a target for the "bad guy." With the summer holidays approaching, it is important to remind everyone of a few procedures to protect themselves and their families.

In direct response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States Air Force implemented an aggressive program called, "Eagle Eyes." The program is an antiterrorism initiative enlisting 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, individuals can assist 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 instrumental force multipliers to Joint Base Charleston security and first responders. In times like these, awareness and reporting may be the key to saving the life of one or hundreds of innocent victims. All reports are taken seriously and are shared immediately with appropriate law enforcement agencies and military commanders for rapid assessment and investigation.

Who should be considered suspicious? 

People who:

· Are overly interested in security procedures for the event
· Attempt to solicit sensitive event or participant information through personal contact or by telephone, mail or email at a level beyond mere curiosity
· Attempts to access a secured area by circumventing established entry control points
· Present false or misleading credentials
· Are video recording or monitoring activities, taking notes, using cameras, maps, binoculars around the event route in an unusual or surreptitious manner that would arouse suspicion in a reasonable person
· May be mapping out routes, playing out scenarios with other people, monitoring key facilities along the event route, timing traffic lights or traffic flow or other suspicious activities
· Loiter, park or stand in the same area for an extended period of time with no reasonable explanation
· Make expressed or implied threatening comments/threats of violence against the US or individuals
· Significantly alter appearance from visit to visit (shave beard, change hair color, style of dress)
· Have missing hand or finger, chemical burns, strange odors or bright colored stains on clothing
· Wear outer garments not appropriate for the weather/seasons

Observations:

· Vehicle(s) parked near the event location for a long period of time; or in restricted zones
· Vehicle(s) that appear to be weighted down; have protruding or visible wires; fresh paint; missing plates
· Unusual chemical smells or odors
· Ownerless or suspicious bags left close to the event area
· Missing event badges, uniforms, or identification
· Damaged or tampered with infrastructure surround the event; manhole covers, wires, hoses, lighting, etc.

Everyone is a critical weapon in the war against terrorism and everyone is encouraged to be aware, be alert and report any suspicious activities. Your inputs are critical in the defense of Joint Base Charleston, your neighborhood, community and, most importantly, our country.

It is imperative to maintain awareness of public surroundings and refrain from posting to public media or social networking sites information that may place people in jeopardy.

To report suspicious activities call the 628th Security Forces Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600, AF Office of Special Investigations or the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, 911, local law enforcement or the FBI.

Remember, "If you See Something, Say Something!"