This August marks the Army’s seventh annual observance of Antiterrorism Awareness Month. The number of terrorist-related threats during the past year indicates increasing risk to our nation and the Army. Our goal must be to stay a step ahead of these threats and to do so we must focus our collective and individual actions on “vigilance” and “awareness.” By making these our watchwords, we will be better prepared to prevent and, if the situation arises, respond to terrorist activities.
Throughout the past year our antiterrorism initiatives focused on community awareness, improved physical security, measuring antiterrorism effectiveness and countering the insider threat. We must continue our vigilance with a renewed focus on evolving threats, such as active shooters, homegrown violent extremism, radicalization and cyber threats. Developing our knowledge base so that we can more clearly identify these threats, while developing preventive measures to counter them, is critical in defeating terrorism.
In addition, technological advancements, such as increased use of unmanned aerial systems and the increased sophistication of the operators behind them, present a new paradigm for how we must protect the information our adversaries seek to acquire and exploit. Such new tactics require all of us to remain actively involved in protection efforts.
During Antiterrorism Awareness Month, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant, report suspicious activity to appropriate authorities, and become familiar with active shooter response procedures. Army leaders must also promote understanding and education on preventing insider threats and on measures to counter radicalization and violent extremism.
Developing a greater awareness of the terrorist threat and a shared understanding of personal protective measures are vital to protecting and defending our people. Therefore, we encourage leaders to continuously assess their security posture while improving antiterrorism awareness and community outreach. Working together, we form a united defense that strengthens and secures our nation. Army Strong!