A call to awareness has been released to the Soldiers, Civilians, and families of the US Army Corps of Engineers with the release of Lt. Gen. Semonite’s Proclamation for Antiterrorism Awareness Month. The document strongly urges the Corps Community to take action by way of vigilance to prevent and defeat terrorism.
While there have been less than 20 terrorist attacks on average per year from 2000-2013 and law enforcement has gotten better at thwarting terrorist attacks, they cannot stop them all. Soldiers and civilians can help to prevent their communities from becoming victims of this heinous act by recognizing and reporting suspicious activities.
For example, reporting instances of people drawing or measuring important buildings, unattended briefcases or backpacks, chemical smells that cause concern, questions about building blueprints or VIP travel schedules when there is no need to know, or cars left in no-parking zones in front of important buildings are all activities that should be noted and reported.
Marking the date, time, and place of such activities along with physical descriptions of the people involved are key elements of the successful community involvement Lt. Gen. Semonite was referring to in his proclamation.
This increased level of awareness will help to protect the US Army Corps of Engineers critical resources. US Army Corps of Engineers Far East District Commander, Col. Christopher Crary echoes Lt. Gen. Semonite’s sentiment and encourages his area leaders to adopt this proactive mindset. “It is good to bring these reminders back to the forefront of our daily lives as vigilance and awareness are essential parts of protecting our force.”
South Korea offers a plethora of great tourist destinations across the peninsula. Traveling over holidays and summer vacation provides an opportunity to practice family-wide vigilance and attentiveness to our surroundings. Practicing simple exercises such as this will improve our chances of remaining safe.
As the world of terrorism has evolved with our use of the internet, antiterrorism’s vigilance must include social media. Families must be mindful of their postings on social media and use the proper security features embedded within the social platforms to limit the exposure of their personal information and movements. Additionally, Soldiers and their family members should also steer clear of actors or pages that seek to polarize strife or division to lure groups or individuals to commit acts of violence and also report potential acts of terror on social media to authorities. For example, anyone who posts about harming themselves or groups of people on social media should be reported to reduce the likelihood of a terrorist act.
It is up to us to make the US Army Corps of Engineers more secure by remaining aware of potential threats and reporting suspicious behavior wherever we encounter it. We may not be able to prevent a terrorist attack but knowing how to identify and report suspicious activity is the beginning of stomping out terrorism and keeping our families safe.