August is Anti-Terrorism Month: Why this matters

Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

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Upgrades to the access control point at Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort are just one of the ways the Kentucky National Guard is upping its anti-terrorism game. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Did you know August is Anti-Terrorism Month? Okay. Fine. So August is Anti-Terrorism Month. Why should you care? (Hint: You probably should, especially if you’re in the military.)

In all seriousness, all you have to do is read the daily headlines to see that terrorism continues to be a primary threat to the safety and security of people around the world — and here at home. While these threats are often defined by their ethnic, religious or political origins, they all common goals:  instilling fear, disrupting lives and creating violence.

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Perimeter security isn’t just for the battlefield. U.S. military bases continue to be a focal point for terrorist activity in the continental United States. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

“There is a continuing need to combat the threat of terrorism,” said Warrant Officer Charlie Harris,  intelligence/security officer for the Kentucky National Guard.  “With incidents like the Boston marathon bombing, in mind, there has been a constant threat of since 9/11.  Military bases are a focus, of course, and so we keep on our game here in Kentucky.”

Anti-Terrorism Month is nothing new, according to Harris.  This is the fifth year in a row it’s been done, taking one month out of the year to exercise plans and test equipment and procedures.

“We practice everything from, say, what if we couldn’t use one of our buildings due to an anthrax scare, or what if our generators were down,” he said.  “We’re also stressing the importance of emphasizing individual antiterrorism actions, such as reminding personnel throughout our Kentucky Guard family to report suspicious activity and to review active shooter guidance.”

“The idea is to be ready for every contingency,” he said.

Anti-Terrorism Month in August isn’t just a National Guard thing; it’s practiced world-wide in the U.S. Army.  And Kentucky is leading the way.

“Our program has been recognized nationally by the Army and DOD, and we’ve won some pretty nice awards,” said Harris.  “But we’re not letting our guard down.  Our troops take it seriously, which is why we have such a successful program.”

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