Va. Guard focuses on Anti-terrorism Awareness Month

size0FORT PICKETT, Va. – Members of the Va. Army National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based directorate of operations, mobilization and security published information Aug. 12, 2014 on the fifth annual U.S. Army’s anti-terrorism awareness program.

Anti-terrorism Awareness Month, which occurs every August to precede the anniversary of 9/11, ensures the entire Army community is involved, reminding service members that the threat is real and that the need for vigilance is vital.

“The objective of the ATAM is to instill Army-wise heightened awareness and vigilance to prevent and protect people, information and critical resources from acts of terrorism,” said Kenneth White, state antiterrorism officer. “This is done through broad strategic communication themes and themes specifically identified for execution during the 2014 ATAM.”

One of the tools the U.S. Army uses to encourage Soldiers, Family members and civilians throughout the nation to become familiar with and report suspicious activity or behavior to local law enforcement officials is iWATCH.

iWATCH is the U.S. Army’s anti-terrorism awareness program which is designed to focus and encourage community awareness and out-reach efforts to address important topics related to protecting communities from terrorist acts. The program includes materials and resources focused specifically on “Family Awareness.” Products to support family awareness include posters and pocket cards depicting indicators of potential terrorist activity as well as information on how to report suspicious activity.

Additional program materials include informational papers for use by family readiness groups and military family members to reinforce personal safety, security and prevention of terrorist acts.

Training and education resources include briefs on individual awareness, as well as videos and public service announcements highlighting anti-terrorism awareness and security.

The Va. Guard has also been working on creating products to assist anti-terrorism efforts. “We’ve developed a new reference book for all Va. Guard facilities, to include readiness centers, recruiter stations and field maintenance shops,” said White.

The U.S. Army’s Broad Strategic Communication Themes:

1. Constant vigilance.
2. Timely threat reporting.
3. Knowledge of anti-terrorism concepts and principles.
4. Key leadership emphasis.
5. Vetting of all contractors.
6. Standalone facilities guidelines.

The U.S. Army’s Awareness Month Themes:

1. Recognize and report suspicious activity.
2. Focus on the evolving threat such as swarm, active shooter, and homegrown violent extremists when conducting anti-terrorism training.

The U.S. Army’s Antiterrorism Awareness Month Tri-Signed Letter can be found here: