Operations Security (OPSEC)

socialmediasecurityOPSEC – What is it?

Operations Security is governed by Air Force Instruction (AFI) 10-1101. Simply summarized, “OPSEC is the process of identifying critical friendly information and analyzing friendly actions related to operations, acquisition, and other activities to identify those actions that can be observed by potential adversaries … it is a methodology applicable to any operational activity.”

What does this mean, in English?

OPSEC protects US military operations – planned, in progress and those completed. The success of these operations, the lives of servicemen and women in harm’s way and the lives of your children and yourself may be jeopardized by seemingly small bits of unclassified information from telephone calls, e-mails, blogs, tweets, and just simple small talk at a restaurant. Our growing reliance on electronic communications and social media has become the greatest threat to OPSEC.

Picture a large jigsaw puzzle with many pieces. Sometimes two pieces fit together and sometimes they don’t – immediately. In OPSEC, every bit of information is a puzzle piece. When alone, some information might seem unimportant, but when matched with data, our enemies of freedom can put together the “big picture” of a military operation.

Our enemies rely on family members to know and reveal pieces of sensitive information, especially through social media. Social media is a wonderful way to feel close to a loved one who is far away, but can also compromise the safety of our Airmen. We must balance our fundamental right to freedom of speech and responsibly safeguard valuable information from our adversaries. When communicating on sites like Facebook, DO NOT post the following information, directly or indirectly: deployment/return dates; information about location, mission, equipment status, unit morale, and future ops; and photos of loved one at identifiable deployed location. Refer to Addendum A (Slides): Key Spouse OPSEC for Social Networking

Bottom line? Basic truths for OPSEC – “if in doubt, leave it out,” “loose lips do sink ships,” and, “a Facebook post is worth a thousand consequences.”

For supplemental information contact the OPSEC Office on any military base for additional questions on communications security.

Force Protection (FP) Conditions

The following is a brief explanation of FP Conditions. The specific measures (such as ID card checking) carried out under each condition can vary from base to base, in the continental U.S. and overseas. If you have questions about FP Conditions, talk to the Security Forces personnel at your military base.

Alpha-There is the threat of possible activity against the base or resources under operational control of assigned/hosted units. Increase your vigilance against a possible local threat against Air Force resources.

Bravo-There is the increased and more predictable threat of possible activity against the base or resources under operational control of assigned/hosted units. Maximize your vigilance against a possible local threat against Air Force resources. Be cognizant of who does and who doesn’t belong in your work area.

Charlie-An incident occurs or intelligence is received that indicates imminent terrorist acts against the base or resources under operational control of assigned/hosted units. Secure all work areas and implement 100% identification and entry control procedures for all facilities. Look for suspicious activity and report it immediately.

Delta-A terrorist attack occurs at the base, or intelligence is received that indicates terrorist attack will be directed against the base, or against resources under operational control of assigned/hosted units. Secure all work areas and implement 100% identification and entry control procedures for all facilities. Look for suspicious activity and report it immediately.