INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
As an Airman takes his daily run to stay fit to fight he notices a person harmlessly walking around the gate of the fence. He thinks it's nothing out the ordinary and continues his run. The next day, while attempting the same run, he notices the same person in the same place, but this time that person is taking photos of the area around the base. This time he gets the feeling that something isn't right, but he is not sure who to report this incident too.
Events like this happen at bases frequently. There are people who compile information about the military, the Air Force, bases, and missions. This may potentially lead to a threat to the mission, assets and personnel. It's up to Airmen and good guys who frequent the base to act as sensors and report it to the Eagle Eyes program.
"The Eagle Eyes program is an Air Force anti-terrorism initiative that enlists the eyes and ears of Air Force members and citizens in the war on terror," said Special Agent Kevin Sucher, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 552. "Eagle eyes educates people about the typical activities terrorists engage in to plan their attacks. Armed with this information, anyone can recognize elements of potential terror planning when they see it. The program provides a network of local, 24-hour phone numbers to call whenever a suspicious activity is observed."
As a member of the Air Force it is important to help protect its assets, and that responsibility is shared with all members of Team Incirlik.
"You and your family are encouraged to learn the categories of suspicious behavior and stay attuned to your surroundings," Sucher said.
Sucher added that once an Eagle Eyes report is made, the local AFOSI detachment is usually placed in contact with the person making the report.
"This allows the local unit the opportunity to extract vital details surrounding the report," Sucher said. "Once the details are collected and analyzed, AFOSI will look into the observation more in-depth. The observation may turn into an investigation."
Some people may wonder 'If I saw this I'm sure the proper authorities did too, so why must I report it?'
"Because most AFOSI and security forces units are small in comparison to the base populous, we rely on every person to be our extended eyes and ears. We depend on people to report any suspicious person or event to Eagle Eyes" explained Special Agent Carolyn Rocco, AFOSI Detachment 552. "A good general rule of thumb is to report no matter how insignificant it may seem. We'd rather take information that does not lead to anything substantial than respond to a significant event which could have been prevented if someone reported it."
Sucher said that people should not be warded off or scared to report findings to AFOSI.
"We understand there is sometimes an aversion to reporting information to AFOSI, perhaps because they think we are the ones who decide if someone is innocent or guilty," Rocco said, "Agents are fact finders. We work extremely hard to investigate all sides of an allegation and provide commanders and JA the evidence discovered."
Here is a list and descriptions of suspicious behavior that members should report:
Someone recording or monitoring activities. This may include the use of cameras (either still or video), note taking, drawing diagrams, annotating on maps or using binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices.
People or organizations attempting to gain information about military operations, capabilities, or people. Elicitation attempts may be made by mail, fax, telephone, or in person. Examples could include being approached at the mall or airport and asked about what's happening on base; someone asking for troop strength numbers, number of airplanes on base, how a trash-collection truck gets on base, how many people live in a certain dorm, where the commander lives, or which nightclubs/restaurants off base are highly frequented by military people.
Tests of security:
Any attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches or to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses. Examples: a person grabs the base fence and shakes it and sees how long it takes for police to respond; or someone who wanders around heightened security areas, or in key buildings waiting to see how long before, or if, someone asks who they are.
Bad guys would love to get a hold of military uniforms, passes or badges. We must ensure we strictly control all of these so they don't get into the wrong hands.
Suspicious persons out of place:
People who don't seem to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment, or anywhere else. This category is hard to define, but the point is that people know what looks right and what doesn't look right in their neighborhoods, office spaces, commutes, etc., and if a person just doesn't seem like he or she belongs, there's probably a reason for that.
Putting people into position and moving them without actually committing the terrorist act. An element of this activity could include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow. Take note of people moving around from place to place without any apparent purpose and doing it, perhaps, many times. For example the Sept. 11 hijackers, are now known to have actually flown on those exact flights several times before Sept. 11. Their purpose was to practice getting their people into position, working out arrival times, parking, ticketing, going through security, boarding, etc.
People and supplies getting into position to commit the act. This is a person's last chance to alert authorities before a terrorist act occurs. One fairly good example of this is the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. When the explosives-laden truck pulled up to the fence line (which was the "deploying assets" step) and the driver jumped out and ran away. This was seen by someone on the roof of the dormitory, who recognized this as suspicious activity. He then sprinted down stairs and began pounding on doors, rousting people out of bed and getting them out of the building. Because of this action, he saved many, many lives, and it's all because he recognized the "deploying assets" element.
Incirlik members are encouraged to stay aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activities by either visiting the Eagle Eyes' 'Crimebusters' link at http://www.osi.af.mil/eagleeyes
or alerting security forces at DSN 676-3200.
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