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National security: Teach family, friends to salute

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kenneth Bush
  • 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron
During a recent visit to Air Force Global Strike Command's F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, reminded us there continues to be threats to this great nation. These threats are from nations far away as well as from people who want to do harm to the American people within our own borders. The United Kingdom recently raised their national threat level from "significant" to "severe" after intelligence reports hinted there was a possible threat to their transportation industry. Here in the United States, Arizona Congressman Gabrielle Giffords was attending a "meet" and "greet" at a Safeway store in Tucson, Ariz. when a gunman shot her in the head.

The mission of the Mighty Ninety carries a large scale of public, political and national attention. It is critical all members of the military and civilian community share the responsibility of protecting our personnel and resources. It is important when investigating suspicious activity to capture pertinent information as early as possible from the individual reporting so law enforcement officials can act quickly. Too often, incidents do not get resolved because bystanders are not educated on how to collect needed data.

One avenue to report information to is through the Office of Special Investigations Eagle Eyes program. The Eagle Eyes program teaches people about the typical activities terrorists engage in to plan their attacks. This is a great way to relay information on possible terrorist activity, but what important details do investigators require? When a military member observes enemy activity, they are obligated to make a "spot report" which refers to the enemy being "spotted."

The most common method of giving a spot report is through the 'salute' report. The purpose of a salute report is to convey the most vital information regarding suspicious activity in order to coordinate a detailed game plan to start an investigation. The standardized salute format is designed to train military members to quickly and thoroughly compile vital pieces of information in an organized manner.

This efficiency in reporting also results in greater precision and detail of information. The salute report is easy to remember and can be taught to all of our family and friends.
Our friends and families in the civilian community play a huge part in the success of the 90th Missile Wing. We have partnered for many years on helping each other succeed on and off base. By teaching our friends and families to be more observant, we are equipping them to help us safeguard our nation's most vital resources. Next time they tell you that they witnessed a suspicious activity, have them salute.

Salute is an acronym which stands for:

S = Size (of enemy force)
How many individuals did you spot doing the suspicious activity?

A = Activity (of the enemy)
What exactly did you see the suspects doing?

L = Location (of the enemy)
Notice street names or landmarks for references.

U = Uniform (of the enemy)
What were they wearing? Were the clothes similar like they belong to an organized group?

T = Time (of the event)
Write down the time immediately as well as when they departed.

E = Equipment (the enemy is using)
Are they using binoculars, maps, weapons, or other tools for carrying a possible attack?