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There’s no such thing as too vigilant, official says

Published: 02:58PM August 4th, 2011

Recent events remind us that people can never be too cautious nor should they let down their guard when it comes to potential terrorist attacks.

In February 2010, Department of the Army determined August to be Antiterrorism Month each year. The timing serves as a reminder of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

As the anniversary approaches, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Protection Division reminds the community to report suspicious activities and behaviors to proper officials.

JBLM and military installations across the nation will promote the observance with newspaper articles devoted to antiterrorism awareness, providing opportunities to train community members for active-shooter scenarios. All servicemembers will be required to undergo Antiterrorism Level 1 training, geared toward local threats.

“It focuses on things that could possibly affect people right here in the United States as opposed to the war,” said Kirk Johnson, antiterrorism specialist.

Johnson said even though recent history proves attacks can happen anywhere — even on military installations — there still tends to be a false sense of security held by those living on base. The November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, in which a lone Army major is accused of killing 13 and injuring 29 others, is an example of that illusion of safety.

“Although active-shooter events in America, especially school shootings and things like that have always been a concern, they’re more of a concern on installations now because of Fort Hood,” said JBLM Force Protection Division Chief Thomas Rudd. “If you look at what just happened in Oslo, (Norway) — the idea of a guy with a gun being able to run around for 90 minutes killing people — nobody expected it.”

Rudd said JBLM law enforcement and emergency responders train continuously to respond to such types of events. He is more concerned, about the rest of the community not knowing what to do if a similar scenario occurred.

A key part of JBLM’s antiterrorism awareness campaign is to train servicemembers, their Families and others in the community on how to react to a shooting.

“What we’re going to push this month is getting the JBLM community to look at where they work, look at where they live, look at the places they go ... When the Tacoma Mall shooting happened (in 2005), a lot of people ... were in the middle of shots being fired,” Rudd said.

Two years ago a shooting at the main post exchange at Fort Lewis shocked the community.

“That was over in a blink of an eye, but if that had gone the other way and the guy started shooting patrons, would people have known what to do?” Rudd said.

The goal is to have a well prepared community, ready to react and report suspected terrorist activities.

Dan Vessels, antiterrorism officer, said nothing is too trivial to report. People observing the installation, taking photographs, soliciting questions, questionable postings on Twitter or Facebook or anything that seems out of place should be reported to officials.

“If you see something that doesn’t seem right, report it and let the right people determine if it’s right or wrong,” Vessels said.

The community can report suspicious activity to the JBLM Protection Division Facebook page or Twitter account. Both are monitored 24/7. They can also call the office at 966-7319/7317 or send an email to:

“We’re very vigilant out here and we’ve got our ears and eyes to the ground listening to all of our intel sources and our local partners,” Johnson said. “Everyone’s working together on and off the installation.”

Antiterrorism awareness month

Joint Base Lewis-McChord will conduct Army Antiterrorism Awareness month activities to instill heightened awareness and vigilance to protect the community and critical resources from acts of terrorism.

With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack approaching, it is important that community members understand AT concepts, especially their roles in suspicious activity reporting.

HQDA has established an AKO page at:

The JBLM Protection Division has AT products at on the extranet site at

We have also posted AT awareness info on the JBLM McChord Field SharePoint portal at

One of four themes is suspicious activity reporting. A key program supporting suspicious activity reporting is the Army Threat Awareness And Reporting Program. The TARP Knowledge Network is on AKO at

Report Suspicious Activity


JBLM Points of Contact

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Dispatcher 967-3107 (Non-Emergency)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Police 967-7112 (Desk Sergeant)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Police 982-5624 (McChord Field Sub-Station)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord CID 967-3151

Joint Base Lewis-McChord OSI 982-2567

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Protection Division 966-7303/7317/7319

Madigan Hospital (MAMC) Provost Marshal 968-1515

902d MI (Counterintelligence) 967-2501

Joint Base Lewis-McChord ATO: or 677-9752

Antiterrorism training

The JBLM Protection Division will conduct weekly training at Carey Theater from 8 to 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 15, Aug. 23 and Aug. 31. Anyone is welcome to attend the training.