Help to keep Columbus AFB free from terror
By Master Sgt. Brandon Enea , 14th Flying Training Wing
/ Published May 24, 2007
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Most are aware of the news reportings of terrorists operating in the United States. Only a week ago a plot against Fort Dix, N.J., was foiled by an alert store clerk. Security of Columbus AFB is everyone's responsibility. A terrorist isn't always going to be of Arab descent wearing a turban. Even here at CAFB there is risk of a terrorist attack.
The best chance at stopping an attack is to catch terrorists in the planning and surveillance phase. This means that everyone needs to be alert for suspicious activity. Everyone knows who is supposed to be in the work area, anyone else should be looked at with a critical eye until positively identified. Below is a list of some things that should get alert someone who may be acting suspicious.
Strangers in the work place who are doing any of the following:
Asking questions that aren't directly related to the service provided.
Taking photographs of the installation or the work area
Sketching diagrams of the area or making maps.
Attempting to enter controlled or non-public areas.
Acting in an unusual manner.
Conducting surveillance of personnel or security procedures.
Additionally if vehicles or personnel outside the installation perimeter observing aircraft operations or the entry control points are noticed,this should be considered suspicious. Terrorist organizations conducting surveillance will sometimes test the waters by seeing how far they can get before they are stopped. If they make it onto the installation and then are allowed to roam free in the work center it will surely send the message that this is an easy target.
One more lesson learned from the foiled plot at Fort Dix. This group conducted surveillance at Dover AFB. They decided that it was too hard a target and moved on. That is what the goal should be. Making the bad guy believe that this is too hard of a target and this takes a total team effort. So what should everyone do if suspicious activity or persons in, on or around the installation are seen? Here are a few suggestions that should help:
Keep the individual under observation
Make contact with the person and ask if assistance is needed.
Ask to see ID.
If no ID or valid need to be in area ask them to wait in a non-sensitive area.
Do not attempt to detain or restrain the individual. Contact 14th Security Forces Squadron by calling 911.
Remember that installation security isn't only a Security Forces function. Without everyone looking out this will be an easy target. Keep the installation watch card in a handy location to remind yourself and others to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.