86th AW Anti-terrorism teaches awareness, safety to KMC

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
With the holiday season quickly approaching, Airmen and their families may find themselves planning trips throughout Europe, attending office holiday parties downtown or spending an evening at a Christmas market.

The 86th Airlift Wing Anti-terrorism office is in charge of ensuring that while Airmen are out enjoying these holiday events or other ones throughout the year, they are also aware of the possible threats or dangers that go along with them.

"People are where the mission is," said Master Sgt. Joseph Feigel, 86th AW Anti-terrorism NCO in charge. "Without people we can't get the job done; so keeping people safe is what keeps Ramstein going. I think it's very important we continue to do what we do."

The anti-terrorism office is a high priority, comprehensive program which focuses on defensive measures to reduce the risk of terrorist acts to Air Force personnel and properties.

They strive to impress onto Airmen the importance of remaining vigilant, especially while living overseas.

"Awareness is the key," said Feigel. "Keep your eyes open. People get complacent and go about their day doing the same routine over and over again and they make themselves an easy target. We try to keep people mindful of that. They're living here, and there's all sorts of things going on, especially recently with the France attacks. We're trying to make people aware of what they're doing and how they're operating."

A way for members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community to take an active role in anti-terrorism measures is through the Eagle Eyes program. It is an Air Force anti-terrorism initiative that enlists the eyes and ears of Airmen, civilians, contractors and dependents who can access a network of local, 24-hour phone numbers to report suspicious behavior.

The main focus of the program is to inform the community on how to recognize possible terrorist activity and how to report suspicious behavior. It is with the help of all members of the Ramstein community that the 86th AW Anti-terrorism office has the opportunity to get the job done.

"The most important aspect of our job is making sure the mission and people supporting the mission are secure," said Christopher Carr, 86th AW Anti-terrorism program manager. "We make sure they remain safe, their families are safe, they have all the information they possibly need to remain safe while they're traveling, or even at home."

The anti-terrorism office puts out guidance covering the steps Airmen and their families can take, what tools they should have, emergency contact numbers, what's a safe route to travel, what to do in an emergency and things to avoid.

Feigel said the anti-terrorism office will also often times use social media like Facebook and Twitter to push out information offering advice on how to remain safe and keep a low profile.

"[Some things to avoid are] wearing your uniform downtown, which is a United States European Command restriction, traveling in large groups or doing things to draw attention to yourself," said Feigel. "That came up recently because of the holidays."

When everyone continues to maintain awareness of potential terrorist and insider threats, practice personal security measures and report suspicious activity, Airmen and their families can spend the holiday season knowing all hands are on deck to try and keep Ramstein safe.

According to Feigel, it is when people are able to come home safely from events off base that makes the job worthwhile.

"We're doing whatever we can to protect them," said Feigel. "When there isn't an incident or an issue, that's the best thing about the job."

It is with the dedication of the Airmen in the 86th AW Anti-terrorism office and the vigilance of the members of the KMC that everyone can try to have a safe and happy holiday season.