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DoD Recognizes Anti-terrorism Efforts

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 1996 – Air Mobility Command's antiterrorism program has two goals: Keep every member safe and keep every resource secure.

DoD officials recently named the program the best at a major military command. It was one of several antiterrorism programs recognized during DoD's worldwide antiterrorism conference at Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented awards to 10 military units and three program managers Sept. 12.

During the past year, Air Mobility Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., deployed forces on hundreds of humanitarian missions in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and military operations in Haiti, Bosnia and Southwest Asia. Airmen and aircraft have stayed safe and secure due to the command's handson, antiterrorism program, according to Air Force Lt. Col. John S. Heumann, chief of current operations for the command's security police.

The program has no magic formula, he said, and there has been no expensive initiative. The effort starts at the top and is reinforced through the lowest level of supervision, he said.

"The single watchword has been 'education,'" Heumann said. In the past year, the command provided domestic and foreign terrorist awareness training to every member of the command. Command security police helped create two computer training programs, one for antiterrorism awareness and the other for antihijacking training for air crews.

"These interactive, computerbased programs allow air crew personnel to receive stateoftheart training 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Heumann said. "They have replaced the need for classroom settings and bringing in subject matter experts to teach these classes." Security police also created an antiterrorism deployment checklist, a pocketsized guide issued to all personnel who deploy, he said.

A commandlevel working group on the terrorist threat is the backbone of the antiterrorism program, Heumann said. Officials from the security police, office of special investigations and intelligence, and command and control divisions meet daily to advise the commander, he said. Similar groups meet at each command installation. These working groups disseminate information to wing leaders.

This year, Heumann said, the command has spread the antiterrorism message and developed an antiterrorism awareness mentality. Intelligence produces weekly terrorism summaries and monthly country assessments used for planning every mission from a single flight to a major contingency, he said. Command officials produced more than 175 location assessments and currently maintain a data base for 243 countries and specific geographic locations for command customers worldwide.

The command has also developed a program to protect flight lines. A multilayered approach makes undetected penetration of command flight lines much harder for terrorists, Heumann said.

"Threat awareness is routinely measured at all levels of the command through operational readiness inspections, staff assistance visits and local exercises," Heumann said. "The ability to assess terrorist actions and information and then react through the appropriate threat condition measures is tested at all Air Mobility Command installations at least quarterly."

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Air Force 52nd Field Investigations Squadron, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, won the best program from a unit comparable to a major command category. With headquarters in Ankara and detachments in Ankara, Izmir and Incirlik, the squadron is the DoD counterintelligence and antiterrorism agency for every service in Turkey.

"There is a long history of terrorist attack against Americans in Turkey," said Air Force Col. Leonard E. Patterson, squadron commander. It's a perennial problem, he said, and world events only serve to intensify antiU.S. activity.

"To meet out goals, OSI has embraced an aggressive, predictive and preventive agenda to get out front and stay out front, to seek out and counter potential threats before they pose a real danger," Patterson said. OSI provides solid, factbased, antiterrorism collections, reporting and preventive programs. They provide senior commanders the information, investigations and preventive services they rely on to keep their personnel and resources safe, he said.

Aggressive liaison with Turkish national police is the cornerstone of the program, Patterson said. Every OSI agent is taught effective liaison, which requires an understanding of Turkish police culture and customs. These relationships have led to U.S. Air Force officials being allowed to interview captured terrorists and obtain firsthand information on philosophy, ideology, training, target selection and other intentions of the group, he said.

The office also does security vulnerability surveys to assess personnel security weaknesses at on and offbase facilities, residences and transportation systems, Patterson said. The surveys give commanders an indispensable tool to develop force protection measures, Patterson said.

Within 24 hours of arrival in Turkey, officials give all newcomers a security awareness briefing. When potential terrorists notice people are observant, it signals a community with a strong security posture, Patterson said. That means it's a hard target, he said.

"We know that early detection, or the perceived threat of detection, by surveillance can and has deterred attacks," Patterson said. "When properly informed, we found the spouses and children of military members become our advocates in the family for continuing good security practices."

Other DoD award winners are:

  • Installation/Ship, winner: Office of Defense Cooperation Athens, Greece; honorable mention: U.S. Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy.
  • Best Antiterrorism Intelligence Program, Comparable Level, winner: U.S. Navy Antiterrorist Alert Center, Washington, D.C.; honorable mention: U.S. Army 748th Military Intelligence Battalion, Washington, D.C.
  • Best Antiterrorism Program and Functional Manager, winners: Donald Snovel, Arctic Law Enforcement Command, Fort Richardson, Alaska; Special Agent Franklin J. Malafarina, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 243 (Provisional), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; honorable mention: Army Master Sgt. Neil A. Southwood, Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Most Outstanding Antiterrorism Innovation or Action, winner: 72nd Security Police Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.; honorable mentions: Naval Criminal Investigative Service Field Office, Yokosuka, Japan, and U.S. Army B Company, 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, Washington, D.C.
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