Summer is approaching and many will travel abroad either on official travel or for pleasure, and traveling to a foreign country can be a rewarding and positive experience. Whether you are an experienced or first-time foreign traveler, you should take your personal safety and security seriously. Here are some helpful foreign travel, safety and security reminders.
Foreign Travel Reminders
Department of the Army G2 and Army Regulation 380-67, Personnel Security Program, require U.S. personnel with a national security clearance to report foreign travel to their local security office prior to departing.
The United States European Command and United States Army Europe require that all assigned personnel register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step). See your antiterrorism office for more details or additional EUCOM and/or USAREUR foreign travel requirements.
All Department of Defense personnel regardless of having a national security clearance must adhere to the DOD Foreign Clearance Guide (https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg.cfm).
When traveling alone, dependents of DOD military, civilian and contractors are encouraged to contact the local security or counter intelligence office for foreign travel guidance.
Safety and Security Reminders
Know emergency numbers and potential safe areas. Have a realistic emergency action plan. Know how to contact local or host nation emergency services, if needed. Europe-wide emergency phone number is 110.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Maintain vigilance and avoid confrontations in locations such as bars, discos, night clubs and other public gathering areas.
Always let someone know the details of your destination, departure, arrival and return times.
Be inconspicuous. Do not draw attention to yourself or dress in a manner which makes you stand out as an American. Conduct yourself professionally and respect the host nation laws, customs and courtesies.
Avoid spontaneous gatherings and demonstrations.
If you come upon a demonstration, remain calm and disengage from the situation. Avoid speaking loudly or drawing attention to yourself, stay away from other likely areas for demonstrations/civil unrest or unsafe areas.
Travel in small groups (never alone) and vary movements.
Stay away from high-risk places and known high-crime areas.
Ensure your vehicle is in good working order and fuel tank is full. Never exceed below half tank, if possible.
Always use local maps or GPS, if available.
In the event of an incident at your destination or any location on your itinerary, notify your chain of command of your status as soon as possible.
Monitor local TV, radio stations, news and government and social media networking sites for updated information.
Consider joining an auto safety club in the event of a mechanical breakdown or vehicle accident.
Don’t display large sums of money, especially U.S. currency.
When traveling by train, select a window seat in the middle section of open coach cars.
When traveling away from U.S. installations, consider staying in trusted hotels that do not have distinctly American names or service predominantly American guests.
Avoid staying in street-level rooms with direct access to hotel grounds or stairwells. If possible, stay in a room located between the fourth and tenth floor.
Use extra caution in hotel lobbies, nightclubs and other public places where bombs may be placed. Be aware of egress points in the event of an attack.
Military uniforms will not be worn while on leave or pass for unofficial travel. Uniforms will not be worn on public mass transit such as planes, trains and buses.
Consider following the USAREUR Antiterrorism Stay Safe Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StaySafeAntiterrorism).
Carry a cell phone and pre-program emergency contact phone numbers.
Know local laws and customs before you go.
Upon your return, report any suspicious or unusual activity encountered during your trip to your local security or counter intelligence office.
Lastly, always watch out for persons that attempt to gather information related to military missions or operations, seek classified or sensitive information, solicit your services to join or promote a local party or cause, pick your pockets, promote involvement in scams, cause bodily harm and/or attempt to kill you. Remember your individual operations security and force protection measures at all times.
For more information, contact USAG RP S3/5/7 Security Office at 541-3004/3037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.