Vigilance is Key: Stay on alert, report suspicious activities

August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month in the Army—the 10th annual observance of this call to action for Soldiers, Army civilians, retirees, and Family members to be aware of the dangers posed by terrorism and to be prepared to help combat terrorism. Preparation is the Key 

Army antiterrorism initiatives address the ability to counter an increase and advancement of terrorist tactics as well as combat violent extremism. To support this year’s antiterrorism initiative, U.S. Army Cyber Command will conduct a number of exercises to increase awareness. 

“There has been an increase in workplace violence over the past decade with the perpetrator being acquainted with their victims. ARCYBER follows the Army’s Antiterrorism program standards to practice exercises, drills, and increase preparedness to ensure personnel and assets remain protected,” said Mark Aaron, ARCYBER antiterrorism officer. 

“ARCYBER plans to conduct a few exercises (workplace violence, active shooter, insider threat and suspicious package) on Fort Belvoir, Aug. 19-23 to increase awareness and vigilance,” Aaron added. “We must evaluate the workforce’s response to discovery of a suspicious package and an insider-threat/active-shooter event, while concurrently exercising the command’s Mass Warning Notification system, Emergency Action Plans, and accountability procedures.” 

Constant Vigilance 

The Army’s antiterrorism program’s primary focus is awareness. Being aware and reporting your concerns can help identify and prevent threats to our national security and local community. Be observant and attentive; 

remember details about people, places, conversations and vehicles; and report your concerns to authorities—local police or installation military police, or the CONUS Hotline, 1-800-225-5779. 

“If something appears to be out of place, remember the mantra of “see something, say something,” Aaron said 

Know What to Look For 

Army community members must know how to identify and report suspicious activities or behaviors. iWATCH Army is a modern version of Neighborhood Watch which encourages community members to identify and report suspicious behavior potentially associated with terrorism. 

The Army will continue to practice threat awareness and reporting throughout the year. Quarterly antiterrorism awareness themes and an annual antiterrorism awareness month (August) demonstrate the Army’s commitment to prevent terrorist activities. 

When our workforce is aware and empowered, the entire Army community acts as “sensors” and becomes an extension of our overall protection. The information reported by members of the Army community may reveal a piece of a puzzle that leads authorities to thwart a terrorist plot.