By Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
In the wake of 9/11 attacks the United States found that its enemies possessed the capability to carry out terrorist attacks on American soil with little regard for themselves. In response, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations established the Eagle Eyes program.
The program focuses on understanding that many acts of terrorism require careful planning and are often rehearsed in advance. By utilizing the entirety of its force, the Air Force is able to have “eyes” beyond its specialized units through Eagle Eyes.
According to a paper released AFSOI, the program requires a high level of cooperation between a military base and the community to be a successful one.
“The Eagle Eyes program is often overlooked, or not taken seriously,” said Special Agent Jonathan Holycross, a member of the 8th Field Investigations Squadron here. “People need to understand that there are far too many ways for someone to conduct surveillance or elicit information.”
Air Force members need to be aware of what to look for, according to the OSI office. The Eagle Eyes program has identified some specific areas that may be possible predictors of terrorist acts or malicious intent.
According to Holycross, information can be extracted in many seemingly harmless ways. Something as simple as taking photographs of the base or license plates can provide a tremendous amount of information if ran through certain databases. Names, addresses, social security numbers, names of relatives and even phone numbers are among them if members of the base aren’t vigilant and willing to report suspicious incidents.
Elicitation of information pertaining to military operations, capabilities or people is another common indicator that military members should be cautious of.
“In local bars, intoxicated individuals seem to forget what they can and cannot say. Those eliciting information know this, and may buy drinks to get the information they want,” said Holycross.
Aside from making a point not to divulge sensitive information, service members must also be aware that there are other signs terrorist attacks may be about to occur that don’t directly affect them, according to OSI. Tests of the installations security, the acquiring of supplies, suspicious persons that seem out of place, dry runs and actual deployment of persons and assets to commit an act of terrorism are all things that should be immediately reported to Security Forces or OSI.
“Basically, anything that doesn’t seem right, people need to let Security Forces or AFOSI know as soon as possible, and let us determine what needs to be done,” said Holycross. “We would rather get the call and be able to talk to the person than attempt to track them down when the incident happened three to four hours earlier.”
Those that live and work in a community know those things that belong and don’t belong, report the latter.
For more information about the Eagle Eyes program, contact Special Agent Burt Chaffin at AFOSI 8 FIS, 567-4049, or to report any activities contact your local Security Forces Law Enforcement Desk at 719-567-6464 or DSN: 560-6464.
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