First line of defense

  • Published
  • By Special Agent Geoff Haines
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 216
The Wings Over Wayne Air Show Open House approaches, the 4th Fighter Wing leadership would like Airmen and community members to reflect, at least momentarily, on the continuing efforts faced when combating terrorism and espionage.

Although no significant act of terrorism has occurred on American soil since the terrible tragedy September 11, 2001, we need to remain vigilant and stand ready to thwart any future terrorist acts. Servicemembers help fight terrorism every day, now the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is asking for the help of the community.

AFOSI developed a program called Eagle Eyes in the wake of the events of Sept. 11. Eagle Eyes is much like a neighborhood watch program, but on a much larger scale, with far greater consequences of inaction. This program seeks everyone as a member of the anti-terrorism and force protection team. AFOSI special agents routinely visit the local community, talking with business owners, employees, patrons and local residents. We take the time to visit with the community, and provide the information needed to recognize, identify and report suspicious behavior.

Consider some of the following categories of what we deem to be "suspicious" activities. These would be things that "just don't seem right" and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Keep in mind that these activities can occur both on and off base.

Surveillance: Someone recording or monitoring activities, using cameras (still or video), note taking, drawing diagrams, writing on maps or using binoculars.

Elicitation: Someone attempting to gain information about the base and its people.

Tests of security: Any attempt to get on base illegally, penetrate security barriers, checkpoints or seeming to measure reaction times of security forces or emergency medical personnel.
Acquiring supplies: Buying, stealing or manufacturing weapons, explosives, uniforms, official decals for vehicles, special passes, flight manuals or any other controlled items.

Suspicious persons out of place: People who just don't seem to "fit in," who don't belong in certain areas, ect.

Dry run: People moving about, seeming to rehearse, but not actually committing any crimes or terrorist acts. This may also include mapping out routes and determining the timing or traffic lights and flow of traffic.

Deploying assets: This boils down to people and supplies getting into position to commit the crime. This would probably be the last opportunity to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.

By keeping an eye out for activities such as those listed above and reporting them, anyone can make a tremendous impact on the level of crime, as well as significantly reduce the terrorist threat for the community. Sometimes an individual will witness something that just doesn't seem right, but feel the information did not seem important, and does not call to report it. Most any law enforcement official would much rather go out and respond to 100 calls that turn out to be nothing, than have to interview a witness to some horrible crime or terrorist act after the crime that could have been prevented. There may be several pieces of the puzzle and that call may be the final piece of information that puts it all together.

Do not hesitate to contact OSI at 722-1218 or the Security Forces Law Enforcement Desk 722-1213 to report any suspicious activity or tips.