Wright-Patterson anti-terrorism exercise Wednesday

A historic marker in Fairborn denotes the efforts of the Wright Brothers in a photo take near a gate to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF
MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Credit: MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Credit: MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Communities near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base may hear sirens or public-address announcements Wednesday as the base launches anti-terrorism exercises.

Motorists driving on to the base may see changes as well. There may be gate traffic backups or re-routes to other entrances if a gate is closed, according to a base public affairs article about the exercises. And emergency-response vehicles may move around the base.

The base is testing its response to force-protection condition — also called “FPCON” — changes in an installation-wide training exercise.

FPCON is a system military installations use to dictate levels of security based on threats to assets or people.

”The threat of terrorism is very real today,” Garth Freund, exercise planner for the 88th Air Base Wing, said in the base’s article. “Periodically testing our people on their response helps us remain strong and effective in our response to it.”

Force Protection Condition levels measure threats to an installation and prescribe specific defense procedures to mitigate the danger and protect Airmen and resources. Oftentimes, quarterly exercises will launch the base into a higher level of security, mimicking the installation-wide implications of a real-world threat. FPCON shifts are a chance for Airmen to practice patience, collaboration and readiness. Security changes affect every Airmen living or working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and knowing what to expect will help all carry out their duties during both real and simulated threats. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Caroline Clauson)
Force Protection Condition levels measure threats to an installation and prescribe specific defense procedures to mitigate the danger and protect Airmen and resources. Oftentimes, quarterly exercises will launch the base into a higher level of security, mimicking the installation-wide implications of a real-world threat. FPCON shifts are a chance for Airmen to practice patience, collaboration and readiness. Security changes affect every Airmen living or working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and knowing what to expect will help all carry out their duties during both real and simulated threats. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Caroline Clauson)

Credit: 88th Air Base Wing Public Affair

Credit: 88th Air Base Wing Public Affair

Freund says reasons for local FPCON changes could range from a suspicious phone call to an unclaimed package sitting in a public area, which could potentially contain an explosive device.

”Understanding the function of the FPCON system, and being familiar with what actions to take, can go a long way to help the base and its personnel be safe and secure,” Freund said.

The FPCON system has five levels:

  1. FPCON NORMAL: Applies at all times as a general threat of terrorist attacks, hostile acts or other security dangers always exists in the world.
  2. FPCON ALPHA: Applies to a non-specific threat of a terrorist attack or hostile act directed against Department of Defense (DoD) elements and personnel.
  3. FPCON BRAVO: Applies when an increased or more predictable threat of a terrorist attack or hostile act exists and is directed against DoD elements and personnel.
  4. FPCON CHARLIE: Applies when a terrorist incident or hostile act occurs within the commander’s area of interest, or intelligence is received indicating a hostile act, some form of terrorist action or targeting of DoD elements, personnel or facilities.
  5. FPCON DELTA: Applies when a terrorist attack or hostile act has occurred or is anticipated against specific installations or operating areas

Base commanders have the ability to raise an installation’s FPCON level if he or she deems there is a credible threat, according to DoD policies.

Questions about the planned exercise were sent to a base representative.

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