Force Protection Conditions - A Tutorial

By Russell Pitts, Installation Antiterrorism Officer DLA Installation Operations Richmond

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As you are driving into the installation or walk into an entrance to a building, you may have noticed that we are at FPCON B and wonder what that really means to you.

Department of Defense Instruction (DODI O-2000.16 V-1) DoD Antiterrorism (AT) Program Implementation: DoD AT Standards states that FPCON or Force Protection is defined as a terrorist threat system overseen by the U.S. Department of Defense, and describes the number of measures needed to be taken by an installation commander in response to various levels of terrorist threats against military facilities. This system is defensive in nature but proactive enough to give the commander the flexibility to protect the DoD elements, personnel resources and interests. To help the commanders, the FPCON system is divided into five levels defined as:

·  FPCON NORMAL: Applies at all times as a general threat of terrorist attacks, hostile acts, or other security threats always exists in the world.  

·  FPCON ALPHA: Applies to a non-specific threat of a terrorist, of a terrorist attack or hostile act directed against DoD elements and personnel.

·  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.

·  FPCON CHARLIE. Applies when a terrorist or hostile act incident occurs within the commander’s area of interest or intelligence is received indicating a hostile act, some form of terrorist action or targeting DoD elements, personnel, or facilities.

· FPCON DELTA:. Applies when a terrorist attack or hostile act has occurred or is anticipated against specific installations or operating areas.

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

For Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, U.S. Northern Command sets the FPCON level. There is one caveat, the installation commander does have the ability to raise the FPCON level for the installation if the commander deems 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 an FPCON level is set, there are a series of mandatory measures that need to be executed or monitored for effectiveness. These measures can be as simple as 100 percent identification checks to increasing stand-off distances from occupied buildings. The antiterrorism officer, security officials, and law enforcement may have the lion’s share of effort to ensure these measures are accomplished, but employees are also vital 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 the commander-directed Random Antiterrorism Measures
·  Practice good Operations Security (OPSEC)
·  Be informed by reviewing policy and procedures

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 Operations Richmond’s Security and Emergency Services at 804-279-4087.