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News > Base Threat--be prepared for FPCON DELTA
Base Threat--be prepared for FPCON DELTA

Posted 6/25/2013   Updated 6/25/2013 Email story   Print story


5th Bomb Wing Antiterrorism Office

6/25/2013 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.  -- Many people take living on a secured military installation for granted. With base entry controls enforced, perimeter fencing in place and security forces units present throughout all areas of the base, not too many people are concerned with something bad happening - but that doesn't mean that it can't or won't happen.

As we recall the recent hostile events that have occurred across the nation at our military installations, universities, schools, theaters and a number of other public places, one can see it is certainly possible. Because of this it is of utmost importance that all base personnel and their families understand what to do when the base is threatened.

During these events, each location transitions to a different security level, force protection condition (FPCON) or other appropriate posture.

What if you were at one of the locations when one of the shootings happened? What would you have done? It's alright if you don't know. FPCONs are in place to help everyone through the situation so it can be mitigated safely in a timely manner. If a shooting were to occur on Minot Air Force Base, we would transition into FPCON DELTA. All military members and their families should ask themselves a few questions.

Did I know what was happening when the warning was given? Do I know what I should do at our house, while in the Commissary or in the BX? Am I familiar with what the schools will do with my children in-place?

If one has a doubt or a concern, TALK ABOUT IT. They should talk to their military spouse, the unit's key spouse, the unit's antiterrorism representatives, first sergeant, other spouses or spouse groups. The bottom line is: talk to someone and get the questions answered!

By its very nature, Force Protection Condition DELTA dictates all missions halt except base security. This includes training, administrative functions and most day-to-day operational activities.

What is required if the base surges to FPCON DELTA in response to a terrorist attack? If the base locks down, what do Airmen and their families do if on base? What if they are off base? What should be done to support the unit and/or installation in the event of an attack? These are critical questions every Airman, contractor, civilian employee, family member and installation guest must ask themselves.

If a terrorist attack occurred, security forces will be fighting to protect personnel and resources. Simultaneously, the base will be implementing appropriate FPCON measures. Among many other requirements, base residents can expect rigid security at base gates and immediate restrictions on their movements.

Many base gates will be closed, and strict security checks at others could result in long lines of traffic. Base residents classified as non-mission essential can expect orders to stay home.

"If we go to FPCON DELTA, there will be very little available in the way of services on the base" said P.J. Pallotta, Installation Antiterrorism Officer. "Everything shuts down and most of us will sit in our residences and wait it out. We will work through the issues and hopefully restore essential services quickly to enable us to continue our missions."

"The elevated security measures will not last forever," Pallotta added. "If we do ever go to FPCON DELTA, there will be overt inconveniences. But hopefully, it will last only a very short time."

As a result of limited services while in higher FPCONs, all base residents should keep extra supplies such as non-perishable foods, diapers, formula, medicines and bottled water on hand (typically at least a two to three day supply). Avoid coming on the base unnecessarily, as the lines will be long. Visit www.ready.gov to create your own plan and build a disaster kit.

As FPCONs and associated measures are modified, requirements will change depending upon the threat. FPCONs have five different levels ranging from FPCON NORMAL to FPCON DELTA. Each describes progressive levels of terrorist threats and initiates pre-planned defensive or mitigation actions.

FPCON ALPHA applies when there is an increased general threat of possible terrorist activity against personnel or facilities. The nature and extent of these activities are unpredictable.

FPCON BRAVO applies when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists. This means we have a better idea of what the threat is. If an incident occurs or when intelligence is received that says a terrorist action against a specific location is imminent, Minot AFB will implement FPCON CHARLIE or DELTA. Some incidents that could result in these elevated levels are: a bomb-threat, suspicious package/improvised explosive device, vehicle gate runner, weapons fire, unauthorized aircraft landing and terrorist attacks. In these cases and many others, base security forces will be one high alert.

Implementing FPCON CHARLIE or DELTA is extremely difficult. Everyone's help is required to allow security forces to protect base personnel and secure critical war-fighting resources. These FPCON measures will create hardship and most certainly affect activity both on- and off- base.

During these FPCONs, the major concern is positively controlling access to the installation. Non-mission essential movement on, off and around base must immediately halt. In DELTA, installation gates will immediately close and no one will be allowed to enter or leave. After the event is quelled, base entry and exit may resume. Security personnel will conduct complete searches on all vehicles entering the installation.

If DELTA is implemented, the entire base will likely hear the audible wavering tone and verbal instructions over the installation emergency broadcast system (giant voice). The base will also post notices on other communication forums like the official base website, social media sites and the base marquee. At this time, all personnel should go inside the nearest building or house and lock the doors.

This is absolutely necessary to neutralize the threat and allow first responders to save lives. Once secured in the nearest shelter, await further guidance from the commander and if possible, contact family members to implement your emergency plan. A good communications plan helps determine loved ones' whereabouts while staying in place. Loved ones should know the plan and be ready to follow announcements from authorities both on- and off-base.

Follow-up announcements will be broadcasted over the base's giant voice system, through electronic crisis action team directives, on social media avenues and through unit control centers.

"The FPCON system is placed in effect to protect, not inconvenience Airmen, families and visitors," said Master Sgt. William Theel, 5th Bomb Wing Antiterrorism Officer. "Everybody plays a vital role during increased FPCONs. Whether a first responder or person behind a desk, everyone must work as a cohesive team."

"Reacting appropriately is the key to security and survival during any situation. FPCONs are no different," added Theel.

"When FPCON DELTA is implemented, everyone's cooperation is essential to best protect our Airmen and their families," said Col. Max Mitchell, 5th BW Vice Commander. "The FPCON system is in place to help us protect people and assets, disseminate threat information and get the situation resolved as quickly and safely as possible. Every member of the base must understand their role and what to do if a threatening event occurs at the base."

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