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News | Aug. 20, 2021

Force Protection Conditions - A Tutorial

By Russell Pitts, Installation Antiterrorism Officer DLA Installation Management Richmond

As you are driving onto Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, or walking to a building entrance, you may have noticed the installation is at Force Protection Condition Level B and wonder, “what does this mean to me?”

Defense Department Instruction (DODI O-2000.16 V-2) DoD Antiterrorism Program Implementation: DoD Force Protection Condition (FPCON) System states that FPCON is defined as a terrorist threat system overseen by the U.S. Defense Department and describes a number of measures that need to be taken by an installation commander in response to a terrorist threat. This system is designed to help the commander to deter, detect, delay, deny and defend the installation they have jurisdiction over.

To assist the commander, the FPCON system is divided into five levels:

  • FPCON NORMAL: Applies at all times as a general threat of terrorist attacks, hostile acts, or other security threats, always exists in the world. (Deter)
  • FPCON ALPHA: Applies to a non-specific threat of a terrorist, of a terrorist attack or hostile act directed against DoD elements and personnel. (Detect)
  • FPCON BRAVO: Applies when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorism attack or hostile act exists and is directed against DoD elements and personnel. (Delay)
  • FPCON CHARLIE: Applies when a terrorist or hostile incident 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. (Deny)
  • FPCON DELTA: Applies when a terrorist attack or hostile act has occurred or is anticipated against specific installations or operating areas. (Defend)

The FPCON level is set by each major command and applied to its theater of operations. These commands use all available threat intelligence to help make an informed decision.

For DSCR, U.S. Northern Command sets the FPCON level. There is one caveat. The installation commander has the ability to raise the installation FPCON level if they deem there is a credible threat. Once the threat is over, the FPCON level is returned to the baseline. The installation commander cannot lower the FPCON level.

Once a FPCON level is set, security and emergency services officials apply, execute and monitor a series of mandatory protective measures for effectiveness. These measures can be as simple as 100% identification checks at the installation gates to increasing stand-off distances from occupied buildings. The antiterrorism officer, security officials and law enforcement may have the lion’s share of effort accomplishing these measures, but employees also have a vital role in protecting this installation.

Here are a few actions employees can take to ensure a safer environment:

  • Complete Level I Antiterrorism training every year.
  • Complete all security-related training.
  • Participate in commander-directed random antiterrorism security or operational measures to show a change in posture or operations.
  • Practice good operations security.
  • Report suspicious activity or behavior – use the DLA iWatch System

Terrorists can target Defense Logistics Agency and its workforce at any time or location. Understanding the function of the FPCON system can go a long way to help you be safe and secure.

Should you need additional information on this subject or security programs in general, please contact DLA Installation Management Richmond’s Security and Emergency Services at 804-279-4087.