Holiday traveling: Stay vigilant

Courtesy of the 86th Airlift Wing Antiterrorism Office

As we know, people are the Air Force’s most vital resource. As recent events have shown, terrorists will continue to modify their tactics in an attempt to be unpredictable. We must remain diligent in our efforts to ensure the safety of our people. Your overall awareness will not only help to protect your family, but will also increase the security of all members in our community.

With regards to the holiday season, utilize situational awareness and be cognizant of solicitation attempts from unfamiliar or newly acquainted people requesting access to bases, information or special events. If solicitation attempts are made, report the incident immediately to law enforcement agencies. To initiate an Eagle Eyes/Suspicious Activity Report, call 06371-47-2050.

Christmas markets and other events are also lucrative targets for nefarious activities. Be aware of your surroundings; pickpockets like to work in teams to distract targets, lift possessions and evade capture. Don’t leave your valuables unattended, and be cognizant when moving through crowds of people. If your wallet or access cards are lost or missing, report it immediately.

Traveling this season? Consult the Department of Defense Foreign Clearance Guide to ensure you meet necessary requirements prior to traveling to a particular country. The U.S. State Department website also contains vital information regarding foreign country medical facilities, crime trends and possible threats. Plan ahead and program emergency response numbers and addresses into your phones or tablets. Inform supervisors and co-workers of travel arrangements. Avoid posting vacation plans on social media websites.

While traveling, be “switched on,” and though you may or may not be fluent in the native tongue or dialect, we are all fluent in tone and body language. Avoid demonstrations, protests and rallies; move away from areas with increased tension. Don’t draw attention to yourself, and remain up to date regarding current events in the area to which you are traveling.

Take the time needed and stay vigilant. For more information, contact your sponsoring antiterrorism manager/coordinator.

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