|Changes Made to Force Protection Programs |
Changes Made to Force Protection Programs
By Staff Sgt. Amy Parr, Air Force Print News.
Washington D.C., (AFPN) August 2, 2001 -- The word "THREATCON," for terrorist threat condition, is fast becoming a thing of the past. As the military moves ahead, a force protection condition -- or FPCON -- is the wave of the future.
This change is effective immediately, said Maj. Melvin Allen, from Air Force Security Forces at the Pentagon.
Even though there has been a name change, he said the condition levels -- normal, alpha, bravo, charlie and delta -- remain the same. The Defense Department, however, is updating the associated protective measures, and these will be released to the field within the next few months.
The conditions are used to describe progressive levels of protective measures taken in response to terrorist threats to U.S. military facilities and people.
The USS Cole Commission recommended the name change to avoid confusion with the term Threat Level. That term is used to quantify the terrorist level of threat on a country-by-country basis. Threat level terms are low, moderate, significant and high.
The challenge will be educating people to recognize FPCON as they do THREATCON, Allen said.
"Installations routinely post their THREATCON status at entry control points and building entrances," he said. "These will all be changed to read FPCON."
Another change is the classification of the Antiterrorism Plan and FPCON measures. In the past, measures were generally for official use only, Allen said. Now, the policy requires the AT plan to be classified confidential, at a minimum, if it contains a complete listing of site-specific AT measures linked to a FPCON.
To keep awareness at the forefront, level 1 antiterrorism awareness training is now an annual requirement for all active-duty military, regardless of duty station.
"Furthermore, level 1 training is also now required annually for all (Defense Department) personnel who are based overseas or eligible for overseas deployment," Allen said. "Previously, training was only required within six months of deploying or (making a permanent change of station move) overseas."
Later this month, Web-based level 1 training will be available for individuals to complete on any Web-accessible computer. This will alleviate the need for training classes at installations, Allen said.
For more information on FPCONs or AT training, contact local installation antiterrorism officers.