Anti-terrorism standards aim to stay step ahead
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Defense Department installations across the Pacific are to adopt new anti-terrorism standards issued last fall that require more planning and testing of security systems and expands protection from various types of attacks.
John Fogerty, Misawa’s anti-terrorism officer, said the revised standards are “an attempt to evolve with the changing threat. You can see just watching what’s going on in Iraq, they’re (terrorists) constantly trying new techniques, and if we don’t adapt with them, (get) faster than them, we fall behind.”
The basic Force Protection Condition levels still exist — Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta — but the new guidance, Fogerty said, “added some measures to that baseline.”
Spelled out in DOD Instruction 2000.16, issued Oct. 2, 2006, general guidelines for the new approach include:
Develop and implement risk mitigation measures to reduce the vulnerabilities of DOD critical assets to terrorist attack.Develop region-specific anti-terrorism awareness training and education programs for all DOD personnel.Implement a verification process, whether through background checks or other similar processes to attest the trustworthiness of DOD contractors and sub-contractors to the greatest extent possible.Conduct terrorism vulnerability assessments for facilities and routes and modes of travel used by DOD personnel and their dependent family members when the terrorism threat level is raised.Bases also are beginning to employ civilian anti-terrorism officers. Fogerty, hired last August, is the first civilian in the job at Misawa.
“It’s going that way,” he said. “The Marines did it before the Air Force did. (Pacific Air Forces) has funded civilians at each PACAF installation, and currently in Japan, two of the three (Air Force) bases have civilians; the third one is hiring.”
Civilians provide continuity, Fogerty said. Anti-terrorism was traditionally a function of security forces, which never had the manpower to do the job, he said. “With a civilian-funded position, it puts it at the wing level, the installation level, which is what DOD says you should do,” he added.
Fogerty recently revised Misawa’s Force Protection Condition checklist to incorporate the new DOD standards and to edify how airmen are to carry out different FPCON levels.
“The old checklist was a list of measures,” he said. “The new checklist is a list of actions. It’s translating commander intent into what the airman in the field needs to know.”
Airmen will be using the new checklist in the upcoming operational readiness inspection at Misawa.