People have the power to prevent terrorism

  • Published
  • By Conrad Butzer
  • 82nd Training Wing
Reported threats on military installations have been on the rise in the past few months.

The 82nd Training Wing antiterrorism officer receives information daily on suspicious activities that is perceived as tests of security and monitoring of our security and mission capabilities.

Many experts say that these reports may be indicators of terrorists planning an attack on military installations or surrounding areas frequented by military members.

At Fort Dix, N.J., in May 2007, six individuals were arrested for plotting an attack on the installation. Their plan was thwarted by an aware citizen. When interrogated, the potential terrorists stated they considered Dover Air Force Base, Del., but it appeared to be too difficult of a target. In the world of antiterrorism this is known as a "hard target."

The work projects at gates going on including the installation of speed tables and pop-up barriers, also known as final denial barriers, are a few of the many methods that help make the installation a hard target. Never think "it won't happen here."

Sheppard plays a vital role in current global operations, a role that is publicized on local and national news daily. This is as good a place as any for the bad guys to strike. We have the most valuable resource in our Air Force here, our future leaders.

Our objective is to make it too difficult for a terrorist to succeed without risking capture. In many cases if the risk is too great for a terrorist mission to succeed, they will go elsewhere. With the help of Team Sheppard, this objective can be met.

Everyone has the power to prevent terrorism. Simply being alert and reporting suspicious activity is a huge step in combating terrorism. Every group or unit on Sheppard has a unit antiterrorism representative. For more information on whom your group/unit representative is, contact the Wing Antiterrorism Office at 676-1352.

These people liaison with the 82nd TRW ATO to implement measures that make our installation more secure; they are the unit's expert on antiterrorism. They help enforce the need to report suspicious activity, administer the installation random antiterrorism measures program, ensure antiterrorism training is being conducted and disseminate information regarding the threat climate.

When reporting suspicious activity, always be specific. If possible, take notes and get license plate numbers. Be specific when describing individuals and vehicles involved, such as race, height, approximate age, clothing worn or other distinguishing factors.

When describing a vehicle, as a minimum, report the color and type of vehicle; for example: SUV, four-door sedan or compact car. The make and model, if known, are also valuable pieces of information. Record times, dates, and location of activity. Use camera phones if it can be done in an inconspicuous manner. Never approach someone you believe to be conducting surveillance.

Remember, everyone plays a vital role in fighting terrorism. Use the tools we have in place and be cognizant of your surroundings for suspicious activity. In most cases if it doesn't seem right to you it warrants reporting. Contact the law enforcement desk at 676-2981, the 82nd TRW ATO, Mr. Conrad Butzer at 676-1352, or your unit antiterrorism representative.