If you don't know, now you know

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Eboni Reams
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Protecting information is a vital part of the mission of every Air Force member. Knowing all classifications and standard operating procedures for Information Security is a top priority.

With this responsibility comes a task of being properly trained to classify and protect all hard copy and electronic materials in around the work place, and applying these training tools to daily operations.

Though a very important task, the success of information security starts from the bottom, up. The 39th Air Base Wing Information Protection chief explained how everyone has a responsibility to protect and safeguard information regardless of rank or position.

"Information security is a method to effectively protect government information by delegating authority to the lowest levels possible", said Tony Smith, 39th ABW/IP chief. "It's important to focus on protecting information that requires protecting, to integrate security procedures, to ensure everyone understands and takes it seriously."

Within different security programs many of them overlap such as INFOSEC and Operations Security. Staff Sgt. Lavar Griffin, 39th ABW security manager, describes how INFOSEC affects OPSEC.

"Properly securing information plays a big role in reducing adversary indicators toward our OPSEC mission as well as INFOSEC. Refer to your unit security manager for correct labeling and storage guidance," said Griffin.

Vigilance is key when achieving a well maintained INFOSEC program. Being proactive on prevention of incidents creates a culture of excellence instead of reacting to mistakes.
"Being complacent, or allowing others to be, affects our readiness and security posture," said Smith.

A few examples of correct storage procedures are as follows: classified material should be secured under conditions adequate to deter and detect access by unauthorized persons. Top secret information should be stored in a General Services Administration approved security container with a supplemental control option specified in Department of Defense Instruction 5200.01, Volume 3, DoD Information Security Program: Protection of Classified Information.

INFOSEC is also governed by Air Force Instruction 31-401, Information Security Program Management.

Protecting classified information and minimizing operational vulnerabilities and threats starting at the lowest level allows the Air Force to continue the fight forward and maintain the highest readiness standards.