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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — The base’s 35th Security Forces Squadron is stepping up random anti-terrorism measures as part of a revised force-protection plan that encourages law enforcement to think “outside of the box” to outwit the enemy, according to Maj. Joe Milner, the squadron’s outgoing commander.

Under the Pacific Air Forces-driven Integrated Base Defense Plan implemented in early June, Misawa’s military police are expanding their coverage areas on base, increasing foot patrols, inspecting more base facilities and changing where they conduct random ID and vehicle checks, said Milner, who departed Friday for the Air Force Academy, where he’ll command the 10th Security Forces Squadron.

The expanded patrol areas and random security measures are designed to increase detection, Milner said.

PACAF Commander Gen. Paul Hester “came out with pretty specific guidance that we need to look at a capabilities-based versus a compliance-based system,” Milner said. “We’ve always been compliance-based, a cookie cutter — if you have two airplanes, you will have this many people [stand watch]. It doesn’t matter whether that works or not.”

An Integrated Base Defense Plan allows commanders to assess risks unique to the base environment and mitigate them accordingly, he said.

Before, Security Forces concentrated their efforts at gate entry points and restricted areas, Milner said.

“Now they have the freedom to be everywhere in the community,” said Capt. John Haynes, Misawa base spokesman, from the flight line to the schoolyard. “You’re more likely to have someone check your ID while you’re walking down the street.”

At Misawa, the new force-protection plan allows Security Forces to set up random vehicle checks at Risner Circle, for example, rather than solely at base entry points, officials said. Law-enforcement officers also will be walking through more base facilities, “rattling doors to make sure they’re locked,” Milner said.

Equipment is another plan component: Security Forces personnel will be armed with a new weapons mix, wearing a 9 mm gun and keeping an M4 in their patrol car, Milner said.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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