By Debbie Gregory.
All military bases nationwide have raised the terrorist threat level to “Force Protection Bravo,” triggering a wide range of measures designed to protect troops and their families from attacks.
The threat levels begin at Threatcon Normal, meaning there is no threat of a terrorist attack, followed by Alpha, a general threat of a terrorist attack. Bravo is an increased and more predicable chance of attack, and Charlie means an incident has occurred or intelligence indicates an attack is imminent. Delta affects an immediate area in the aftermath of an attack, or intelligence has revealed a specific target for attack.
The order to upgrade the threat level was signed by Admiral William Gortney, head of the U.S. Northern Command, which oversees all U.S. military installations in the continental U.S. The security order affects 3,200 sites, including bases, National Guard facilities, recruiting stations and health clinics, a Pentagon official said. Adm. Gortney, raised the protection level so military personnel are on “increased vigilance” because of a “vast array of threats, not any specific threat” such as ISIS, according to Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Marsh, a Northern Command spokesman.
The directive comes on the heals of the fatal shootout in Garland, Texas, on May May 3rd between police officers and two gunmen at a cartoon contest featuring drawings the Prophet Muhammad. Isis has since claimed credit for inspiring the attack, but federal officials have downplayed any direct support from the Syria-based terror organization.
Sgt. Marsh says “Bravo” isn’t anything to be panicked about, as it’s simply designed to tighten security, without unduly burdening troops, harming a unit’s operational capabilities, or annoying local authorities.
The change in threat level status could mean more checks of vehicles entering bases, and more thorough identity checks of all personnel.“For most people, the only things that they’ll notice are little longer lines for getting onto base,” said March, adding that the commanders of individual units are allowed to elevate base security above “Bravo” levels, depending on local determination of threat conditions.
Since NORTHCOM was established in October 2002, the threat level has reached Bravo on four occasions: Feb. 9, 2003, amid concerns al Qaeda was planning attacks on American targets; Dec. 21, 2003, when officials were concerned about attacks during the holiday season; May 1, 2011, in the aftermath of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden; and the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
It reached “Delta,” its highest level, on Sept. 11, 2001, a day that will be burned into the memory of every American, for generations to come.
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Military Connection: ISIS Activity Prompts Increased Security: By Debbie Gregory