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Random antiterrorism measures change base security profile

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. David Small
  • Operations Security Antiterrorism Office
Terrorism is by no means a new concept; traditionally a tactic of the weak, it has been around since the beginning of recorded time.

And as a result of the Sept. 11 tragedy, the train bombing in Spain, the on-going situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the recent bombings against the public transportation system in London, there are thousands of people who think we are unable to prevent these horrible acts of senseless violence; however, there are many ways to step up to the challenge terrorists present.

Education is one of the most important elements of defending against these individuals who threaten our very lives with their terrible acts of violence. Intelligence tells us terrorists increasingly look for "soft targets" or areas that generally don't have physical security measures.

We also know terrorists use violence to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of their goals that are generally political, religious or ideological. We have multiple programs and initiatives that go a long way in securing our installation and our families, one of which is the Department of Defense Random Antiterrorism Measure Program.

RAMs are random, multiple security measures that consistently change the look of an installation's force protection program; these measures introduce uncertainty to an installation's overall force protection program to defeat surveillance attempts and make it difficult for a terrorist to accurately predict our actions.

In any terrorist attack, surveillance is one of the first steps of planning. Terrorists observe a target looking for vulnerabilities in our security posture. One of our weaknesses is predictability. Terrorists may observe an area or facility for several weeks, taking notes on what we do and when we do it. From this, they are able to establish a pattern of our predictability. Once this happens, would-be terrorists have the capability to plan and circumvent the system. RAMs can and will effectively reduce the predictability factor and eliminate a terrorist's advantage.

Units across Wright-Patterson are tasked to complete security measures involving staff, resources and facilities. The number of RAMs conducted may vary, depending on the current threat and security postures we are in. Unit antiterrorism representatives are responsible to ensure the RAMs are conducted. When conducting RAM measures, it is important to be as overt and visible as possible so that you are seen, and there is no doubt to any onlookers you are conducting a security measure.

RAMs are effective because they are truly random; the time, place and location are always different. If someone is conducting surveillance on your unit, it makes it extremely difficult to figure out your pattern of security because there is no pattern.

Conducting RAMs can be an inconvenience at times, but a necessary inconvenience and a vital part of Wright-Patterson's overall security posture. The catch phrase "force protection is everyone's business" is a testament that all squadrons and units on Wright-Patterson must take the necessary steps to protect their facilities, resources and staff. The RAM program is a simple and effective method to secure our people and resources, and it gets everyone involved in the process. If you have any questions about the installation RAM program, or need information or assistance with antiterrorism related issues, contact your unit antiterrorism representative.