Antiterrorism Awareness Month 2017

August is Antiterrorism Month, which is designed to raise awareness not only of the threat of terrorism, but also to encourage regular vigilance and communication to report potential threats.

The Army’s official site lists an agenda for this year’s campaign that includes an emphasis on physical security, countering threats from “insiders”, and community awareness of potential vulnerabilities on the local level.

by SSgt Wesley Parrell, U.S. Army
August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month. Image by SSgt Wesley Parrell, U.S. Army.

The Army is promoting the following areas for 2017:

● Recognizing and reporting suspicious activity (including iWATCH Army and iSALUTE).
● Understanding the threat associated with violent extremism.
● Educating the community on the ownership and use of unmanned aerial systems as well as the risks from adversarial use.

The Army’s push to raise awareness in 2017 includes something called Family Awareness, described on iWatchArmy (a channel of the U.S. Army official site) as a set of resources military families can use to remain focused on antiterrorism habits.

“The program includes materials and resources focused specifically on ‘Family Awareness.’ Products to support family awareness include posters and pocket cards depicting indicators of potential terrorist activity as well as information on how to report suspicious activity.”

Training seminars and videos are also part of this family-oriented outreach. Some videos are available from individual Army commands via YouTube, such as the one linked to here, posted by U.S. Army South:

“If you see something, say something” is common theme among the many agencies and websites when it comes to terrorism awareness, and that is being strongly emphasized in August. The Defense Logistics Agency official site reminds its’ readers, “Trust your instincts; if a behavior or activity makes you feel uncomfortable, REPORT IT.”

What kinds of behavior does DLA mean? “People drawing or measuring important buildings” and “Strangers asking questions about security forces or security procedures” are two of the top indicators to be wary of, but also included in the DLA list:

“An unattended briefcase, suitcase, backpack, or package…Cars or trucks left in No Parking zones in front of important buildings…Intruders found in secure areas…A person wearing clothes that are too big and bulky and/or too hot for the weather. Chemical smells or fumes that worry you …A person who is asking questions about sensitive information such as building blueprints, security plans, or VIP schedules without a right or need to know…”

These reminders may sound familiar; they are the same types of things posted in airports, train stations, bus terminals, etc. Antiterrorism Awareness Month is designed to bring these reminders back into the spotlight, serving as a reminder that we live in times which require this added watchfulness.

You can learn more about antiterrorism awareness at the U.S. Army “OneSource” official site.