By Senior Airman Naomi Griego
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
What’s in your trash?
Think about it. What did you throw away today? Maybe leftovers from lunch, perhaps an empty soda cup, a napkin with a telephone number or email, or maybe a crumpled sheet of paper with vital information.
This is what Col. Mark Caughey, 50th Space Wing vice commander, Lt. Col. Bart Hughes, 50 SW Plans and Programs chief, and security managers wanted to find out during a “dumpster dive” as they sifted through trash Sept. 4, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The dumpster dive is an ongoing base-wide effort to thwart operational security OPSEC violations, which commonly occur every day due to careless mishandling of something as simple as a post-it note.
“The information found in the trash, commonly overlooked, are like pieces of a puzzle,” said David Duhe, 50 SW signature manager. “The enemy can use these pieces to identify weakness and exploit vulnerabilities that could result in negative impact to our mission.”
Duhe’s job, alongside with Devon Thomas, 50 SW signature manager, is to prevent violations that can be detrimental to the base and mission. They sort through nauseous dumpsters to ensure base personnel are not jeopardizing our security or their own.
“We found personal information, which could be used against someone or their family,” said Duhe. “Something as simple as a schedule or appointment book can be used to track a person or their routine.”
Hughes said every time they conduct a “dumpster dive,” they are surprised to find things people are willing to just toss away without a second thought.
“It’s not a stretch to think that people are interested in what we do here and some may even be driven to extremes such as going through our trash,” said Hughes. “So, if you’re in doubt, just shred it.”
Thomas emphasized the role that not only personnel play in OPSEC on base but, also the impact of their families.
“Members should inform their family to be mindful about their role in safe-guarding information as well.” said Thomas. “Sometimes people post information to social media without thinking of the risks.”
There are many avenues in which we all play a critical role in OPSEC urged Thomas.
All violations are documented and used to prevent future occurrences. For more information about operational security, contact the 50 SW signature managers, Dave Duhe or Devon Thomas at 567-2991.