By USAREUR G3 Antiterrorism Division
U.S. Army Europe published updated travel guidance for all Defense Department personnel and family members including a handy product to assist when planning travel, available here.
Recent terrorist attacks and disrupted plots have shown that Europe faces a persistent terrorist threat. Terror groups can conduct complex, high-casualty-producing attacks in Europe and there is a continuing threat from terrorist-inspired lone actors and ad-hoc attack cells. Terrorists have and may continue to target large public events, government personnel and structures, as well as public transit vehicles and venues. Attacks may come with little to no warning. Always be vigilant using the following tips for travel and everyday living in Europe.
Autumn and winter safety tips:
- Use the internet and mapping functions to research destinations and the security environment.
- ID potential safe havens such as police stations.
- Know law enforcement and Embassy phone numbers
- Always have an escape plan, in the event you find yourself in a bad situation.
- Establish alternative methods to contact family, friends, and unit personnel.
- Discuss security plans with your family and other travelers.
- Travel in small groups and vary routes.
- Carry a card with key phrases in the local language to assist you in asking for help.
- Let your unit, coworker, family, and/or battle buddy know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
- Be inconspicuous. Do not wear clothing with U.S. or DoD affiliation. Avoid talking loudly or drawing attention to yourself. Remove any DoD or U.S. affiliated stickers from your vehicle.
- Be aware of your surroundings and potential safe havens (i.e., police station, hospital).
- Avoid spontaneous gatherings or demonstrations.
- Calmly leave the area if one is encountered.
- Know emergency numbers and other important numbers (i.e. nearest US Consulate). Whenever possible, carry a cell phone with pre-programmed emergency numbers.
- Monitor available media, including news and government websites, and social networking sites (such as USAREUR AT’s Stay Safe) for information while traveling.
- Use extra caution in risky areas such as hotel lobbies, nightclubs, and other public places (i.e., sporting arena’s) where attacks may occur. Be aware of egress points in the event of an attack.
- Register your trip with State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and messages.
- Off post uniform wear is prohibited. View Stuttgart’s policy.
Travel alerts: Visit travel.state.gov for travel warning information.
Sign up online for local AtHOC alerts here.
ATHOC sign-up is available online using Common Access Cards (CAC Cards). Service members may also enter a dependent (one additional account). AtHoc alerts users multiple ways through computers pop-ups, voice calls to landline and mobile phones, emails and text messages. Emergency status updates are also posted as necessary to the garrison Facebook page.
All personnel in Europe should remain vigilant and immediately report suspicious activity. To Report Suspicious Activity: Use the iReport app available online and on mobile devices. Immediate help – contact local law enforcement, dial 112.
Stay informed in Stuttgart
Demonstrations in the Stuttgart area are also published to the garrison Facebook page and online. Subscribe to receive a daily email recap of the new information published by the garrison on the right side of the homepage of stuttgartcitizen.com, (non .mil emails work best).