Commander’s Column: Don’t become a terrorist target: blend in, stay vigilant

Due to recent events and the unpredictable nature of active shooter incidents, I would like for everyone in the Stuttgart military community to remain vigilant, be aware of your surroundings, review Antiterrorism Level One training with family members and know how to report suspicious activity.

There are some additional things you can do to increase your safety and reduce the risk of being targeted, as well.

Military personnel are highly encouraged to limit the amount of time spent in uniform outside of our installations. Travel to and from work, from post to post and quick stops (less than 15 minutes) in uniform is reasonable and should not pose a high degree of risk. Service members should avoid wearing uniforms off post for extended periods, if at all possible (eating in restaurants — particularly during lunch, shopping or walking downtown).

Groups wearing uniforms during lunch off the installation put service members at risk by presenting themselves as soft targets.

While waiting for transportation, limit waiting times at bus stops or curb-side to be picked up. Know the scheduled pick-up times for public transportation, and stay in more secure areas until time for departure. If possible, travel in civilian clothes to and from work. 

Remove Defense Department stickers, window decals, bumper stickers and any other identifying markers indicating American, or U.S. DOD affiliation.

Supervisors and sponsors need to ensure personnel and family members are aware of potential threats and reporting procedures. State Department travel warnings are posted on their website. A copy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Self Help Guide to Antiterrorism has been distributed via e-mail to all unit antiterrorism officers.

The safety and security of all community members is of paramount importance.

Stay vigilant and help keep Stuttgart a great place to live and work.

For more information on antiterrorism, call the USAG Stuttgart Antiterrorism Office at 431-2030/civ. 07031-15-2030.

Antiterrorism links

• The Antiterrorism Level 1 training is available at

All U.S. military personnel, Defense Department civilians and contractors are required to take training annually, and their family members ages 14 and older are required to take it before their arrival in Europe.

• The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Guide 5260, “A Self-Help Guide to Antiterrorism,” is available on the garrison website. Visit under “Hot Topics.” The guide is designed to assist in making you and your family less vulnerable to terrorists.