Understanding FPCON status

Public Affairs
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden  

The Army in Europe relies on five Force Protection Condition (FPCON) levels; Normal, A, B, C and D, or as the Army says, Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta. The levels increase from lowest condition at Normal to the highest and most protective at Delta.

The U.S. Army Europe commander delegates responsibility to general officers for force protection, known as the GOFPs.

The GOFP is the lowest level of command within USAREUR authorized to change local FPCONs. Garrison commanders immediately begin implementing FPCON changes upon receipt of notification to change.

What is an FPCON?

The FPCON does two things to counter terrorists or other hostile adversaries:

  • It sets the FPCON level at Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie or Delta.

– Normal: Occurs when a general global threat of possible terrorist activity is possible. The minimum FPCON for U.S. Army commands is normal.

Alpha: Occurs when there is an increased general threat of possible terrorist activity against personnel or facilities, the nature and extent of the threat are unpredictable.

Bravo: Applies when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists.

Charlie: Applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely. 100 percent ID card check required.

Delta: Applies in the immediate area where a terrorist attack has occurred or when intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific location or person is imminent. 100 percent ID card check required.

  • When an FPCON level is set, certain force protection measures are implemented. For example, if an Army garrison elevates to FPCON Charlie, you might see increased security measures at the gates, or even gate closures and the presence of additional security forces.

The FPCON levels are raised as a threat increases or if an attack has occurred. The FPCON level is posted at each gate entrance and all entrances to garrison facilities. While specific FPCON measures are not releasable in the interest of security, there are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • The FPCON level has been set at Bravo or higher since 2001.
  • FPCON Charlie — which indicates that a threat is likely — sets into motion curtailment plans for nonessential personnel. If you are unsure if you are essential or nonessential personnel, contact your supervisor.
  • FPCON Delta, the highest and most protective level, limits installation access to mission-essential personnel and other personnel as determined by the commander.

What if you need to get on-post during FPCON Charlie or Delta? Generally, all service members and their families have Charlie and Delta access. Civilian employees, host nation employees and contractors should check with their supervisor to ensure they have the proper access required for their position.

Connect to the USAG Stuttgart homepage and ensure you’re registered in ALERT, the Army’s mass-warning notification system.

No matter what the FPCON is, always carry two forms of photo ID when entering U.S. military installations, according to the Army in Europe regulation on installation access control.

Increased force protection measures do not necessarily indicate an increase in an FPCON. Army garrisons in Europe also implement random antiterrorism measures.

(Note: This article was modified from an article by Nathan T. Van Schaik published May 31, 2018, on army.mil.)