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HEIDELBERG, Germany — Basic anti-terrorism training for soldiers and their families is just now a mouse click away — adding a convenient alternative to traditional classes.

“This is another tool available to soldiers,” said Sgt. 1st Class William Dewey, sergeant in charge of U.S. Army Europe’s force protection office. “They can accomplish their normal mission without spending a half-day in the classroom.”

The online training is the first of four levels the Army teaches. Level one increases a person’s awareness of terrorism and teaches how to apply personal protective measures, Dewey said, without offering specifics.

“There’s a myriad of things to protect yourself,’ Dewey said. “It’s in the training.”

The training, which takes an hour online, is not valid until a force protection officer signs a computer-generated training certificate, Dewey said.

For soldiers and civilians assigned to the Department of Defense, level one training is an annual requirement while overseas.

The online course began in August 2001, said Don Grosz, USAREUR deputy force protection officer. Since then, more than 175,000 Army personnel have successfully completed it, according to an Army news release.

The program gained momentum this past summer as more people became aware of the Web version, he said.

The online training is not just for troops Europe, Grosz said. “It’s an Army mechanism to accomplish this training worldwide,” he said.

Incoming soldiers often undergo training upon arrival in Europe. Military family members, age 14 and older, must take the training within 12 months prior to travel on orders heading overseas, Dewey said. Last March, the military launched online programs specifically for those groups.

Meanwhile, classroom training for level one is still provided. And higher levels of force protection training must be done in the classroom, due to the nature of the course material, Grosz said.

Level two trains force protection officers who, in turn, supervise level one training. Level three trains new battalion or brigade commanders and their sergeants major. Level four training, conducted in Washington, D.C., is for colonels and generals.

The public site requests a pass code, which users apply for online or gain from their unit’s force protection officer. Military users, who access the training through Army Knowledge Online or the USAREUR Web site, have the code provided for them.

This month, the Army plans to also release a video for soldiers to assist with anti-terrorism measures.

Anti-terrorism level one training can be found online at: www.at-awareness.org

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