97202. Military Launches New Anti-terrorism Training
By Staff Sgt. Lee Roberts, USAF
WASHINGTON -- The Joint Staff recently launched a four-
tiered training initiative that mandates every DoD member receive
force protection training prior to moving or serving overseas.
Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, directed the development of predeployment
training to raise awareness of terrorism directed against U.S.
forces following the bombing of Khobar Towers in June 1996.
Shalikashvili asked Marine Corps Gen. John Sheehan, U.S.
Atlantic Command commander, to coordinate with the Joint Staff
and the services on how to best prepare troops for terrorist
threats. Sheehan's group crafted a plan to formalize anti-
terrorism and force protection training and to encourage
individuals to use what they learn in their daily activities.
Navy Capt. Richard D. Jaskot, the Joint Staff's Training,
Doctrine and Assessments Division chief, said although the new
training can't guarantee the safety of the troops, it will make
individuals more aware of their surroundings and help them avoid
being in a situation favorable to terrorists.
Jaskot said each individual will receive predeployment
training subdivided into two threat levels.
Training Level 1 is the individual level. If service members
are traveling to a negligible- or low-threat area, they are
required to watch a service-selected training video and read
pamphlets designed to reinforce the awareness techniques stressed
in the video. If they are going to a medium- or high-threat area,
members have to get a country clearance from the combatant
commander. They also will receive an individual briefing
stressing personal protective measures.
The training video is not required if it has been viewed
within the last six months. However, a country-specific briefing
is required for every service member traveling outside the United
States. A person or unit must be able to certify the training has
been received before entering a foreign country, Jaskot stressed.
No matter what the terrorist threat, Jaskot said it is
important to receive the country-specific briefing. Whether a
person travels to Germany, Philippines or Saudi Arabia, the
training focuses on specific threats and gives detailed advice on
how to avoid becoming a terrorist's victim, he said.
For instance, Jaskot said "it's important you don't make
yourself stand out as an American military person. You don't
carry your briefcase with the 'I've been there' stickers all over
it or wear civilian clothing which clearly stands out as
He said individuals must be aware and have a mindset when
moving or going to a site overseas "to be thinking about
protecting yourself, looking around, staying aware. You can't
think of this training as a hassle but something that is going to
make people and families safer, and units better prepared."
Training Level 2 is the "train the trainer" level. Jaskot
said this instruction is based on an anti-terrorism instructor
qualification course in the John F. Kennedy Center at the Special
Warfare Capability School, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Instructors receive training and then can provide others
Level 1 training. Also, each service should add service-specific
modules to the training based on its own references, procedures
and regulations on anti-terrorism and force protection.
Training Level 3 is designed to help unit, battalion,
squadron and ship commanders or those selected for command to be
familiar with responsibilities concerning the safety of forces.
"The training they will receive is a module on what their
responsibilities are, and what DoD, Joint Staff and service
regulations they have to comply with to keep people safe," Jaskot
said. "It also explains how they can go about working with their
Level 2 trained people to get the best force protection within
Training Level 4 is executive-level training. The National
Defense University in Washington will sponsor a force protection
seminar for high-ranking officers over three days in late April.
"They will be talking to some of the experts in the field of
antiterrorism from the CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency and
other places in the government," Jaskot said. "They will discuss
terrorism issues, what we are doing to combat terrorism, what
technology we have and how to set up antiterrorism programs for
the various forces under their command."
Jaskot said planners hope the four-tiered training
initiative makes the military a better organization in the future
than it is today, much as military safety programs did 30 years
"Back then, we got serious about safety and made it a daily
mindset change using posters and by continually reminding people
about it," Jaskot said. "We are safer today than we were then.
That is the same kind of tactic we want to take with
antiterrorism. We want everybody to think about these important
issues on a daily basis."