Antiterrorism, force protection is everyone's responsibility

  • Published
  • By Kelly R. Hogness
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing installation antiterrorism officer
A couple times a year the antiterrorism office is responsible for reaching out to the wing and reminding you that antiterrorism and force protection is everyone's responsibility. I'm going to do this today by reminding everyone of horrific events, like a random shooter, that can happen anytime and anyplace.

For example, on Nov. 5, 2009, an Army psychiatrist walked into a deployment processing center located on Ft. Hood, Texas, and opened fire. Over the course of the two and a half hour ordeal 13 people died and dozens more were injured.

Now the question is: What are we doing to keep this from happening here? Let me tell you what we are doing.

We have two law enforcement units on the installation that are well trained in protecting the base. From the neighborhood watch program to the rapid response to an alarm, the 319th Security Forces Squadron is engaged 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When it comes to more detailed investigations regarding criminal or terrorist activity the Air Force Office of Special Investigation is on the job and in contact with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. As good as these units are we can't count on them to do it all.

So, what else is being done? Well, with commanders and first sergeants engaged with their Airman, and supervisors, who can identify behaviors that may indicate potential violence, we are on the right track. But we shouldn't stop here.

As I mentioned earlier AT/FP is everyone's responsibility. This means that every Airman, civilian employee, contractor and family member is a sensor and can play an important role in mitigating an event like the one at Ft. Hood. If you see or know of something that appears suspicious contact AFOSI via the "EagleEyes" contact number (701) 747-EYES. If you feel threatened by an act of violence, contact the security forces squadron at (701) 747-3531. If case of an emergency, always dial 911.

Now if you were to find yourself in an active shooter situation you need to know what to do. You can minimize your risk and buy valuable time, while waiting for the law to arrive, if you act quickly and smartly. If you hear shots down the hall and you have time to escape, then do it. If the threat is nearer to you, take cover in a room and lock the doors. Stay put until the law comes for you. You can contact your unit antiterrorism monitor for a trifold, or click here for a shooting incident threat aid, which not only spells this out but also has warning signs to look for.

With effective security, proactive leadership and an overall awareness, we can minimize the threat of an active shooter here on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. If you have any questions or would like literature for roll calls or briefings please feel free to contact the Installation Antiterrorism Office at (701) 747-6630.