The U.S. Army has declared August as Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month with installations throughout the country running programs stressing vigilance, reporting suspicious activities and protecting Army communities. The campaign is focused on families as well as uniformed personnel on bases.
According to an article on the Army’s website:
In February, the Department of the Army determined Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month would be held in August each year — a month Army leaders have deemed an appropriate reminder of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“August is a very appropriate month, given that it’s just a month before September, keeping in mind 9/11, and also September is National Preparedness Month,” said Brig. Gen. Colleen L. McGuire, provost marshal general of the Army.
The link to National Preparedness Month raises the question whether an Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month would be useful for the civilian world as well, particularly as the Department of Homeland Security ramps up a national “See Something, Say Something” terrorism tips campaign. Another possibility would be to integrate more anti-terrorism content into National Preparedness Month activities in September.
Throughout August, according to the article, Army bases across the nation will be promoting the observance by using posters, banners and displays:
“Here’s an opportunity to focus on anti-terrorism –- particularly for children and Family members who live on an installation,” McGuire explained. “It gives them the chance to become acquainted with their neighbors and become more aware of their surroundings.”
Part of the anti-terrorism, or AT awareness campaign is a focus on Army iWatch –- a community program which encourages vigilance and proper reporting to base authorities.
Some of the suspicious behaviors iWatch asks Army community members to look for include people asking security-related questions, loitering, drawing or taking photos of important buildings or entry points, wearing bulky or baggy clothes, chemical smells, and unattended cars lefts in parking lots or no-parking zones.