INTEGRATING FORCE PROTECTION
By Maj. Jason Burns, 162nd Fighter Wing Antiterrorism Office
/ Published February 05, 2013
Tucson, Ariz. -- Everyone has heard it, "Force Protection is everyone's business and every Airman is a sensor". That statement is indeed fact; it is imperative that all personnel are aware and participate in the Antiterrorism/Force Protection Program (AT/FP) that helps safeguard the personnel and resources at the 162FW.
When the phrase "Force Protection" is refer too, what do you think about? Is it Security Forces, Antiterrorism, or Emergency Management? Well, the answer is all three sections. Force Protection is an all-encompassing endeavor which includes; identification of our threats, determining what our critical assets are, identifying our vulnerabilities, and deciding how we will mitigate those vulnerabilities through the management of risk.
Emergency Management, Security Forces, and Antiterrorism are not the only sections on base that oversee the all-encompassing endeavor. The INTEL section is critical in mission planning. The Communications Squadron protects us against cyber threats. The Fire Department acts as the incident commander and Civil Engineering has the relentless job of keeping our critical infrastructure mission capable!
The 162FW has an exceptionally strong Force Protection program. Due to continued Senior Commander emphasis and base buy-in, the installation has rejuvenated the program which has taken a new direction. We all know that Air National Guard soldiers wear several "hats" as they accomplish their primary duties and possibly several others!
In order to effectively and efficiently fly our wing mission and accomplish additional installation mandatory programs, the wing has decided to integrate several critical security programs. In terms of implementation, the Emergency Management, Antiterrorism, and Security programs that we are all required to execute are combined into the Integrated Defense Working Group (IDWG).
It was determined that there were several working groups around the wing that included duties and responsibilities that overlap in many cases. The Wing Emergency Manager, Antiterrorism Officer, and Defense Force Commander requested to incorporate all three of the mandatory working groups into one IDWG which meets on a quarterly basis. If you manage one of the three programs at the Group/Squadron level, the IDWG is the place you will want to participate each quarter! It's one meeting that you and your counterparts, at the Group/Squadron level, can integrate to save already decreasing manpower utilization and increase efficiency at the same time.
Now that the programs are established and integrated at the wing level, the PM's will be actively encouraging Group/Squadron sections to do the same. The wing program Managers work with the Group/Squadron Managers to ensure that all sections of the installation are kept informed and ready to execute Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) when emergencies arise. These emergencies can be threat specific from our adversaries or natural disasters. No matter to cause, our end goal is to ensure all personnel working on the installation are kept safe. In order to do that, we must have 100% participation from all of our most valuable assets, you.
A few helpful tips to remember are to be proactive, know the threat information, FPCON status, duress word (if applicable), and your specific facility standoff requirements. Challenge anyone that you don't recognize or isn't authorized in controlled or restricted areas and report suspicious personnel and activity to Security Forces, AF OSI or AT/FP immediately. This isn't just SOP's but should be ingrained in our day-to-day activities
It is paramount that everyone participate in the AT/FP program and report suspicious activity. Any questions regarding AT/FP issues, contact your designated unit security manager/AT monitor or Maj. Jason Burns, Installation Antiterrorism/Force Protection Officer at (520) 295-7152.