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 April 09, 2010


Briefings required for work force personnel planning to visit foreign countries

Recent violent attacks in Mexico have prompted the U.S. Embassy to urge U.S. citizens to delay unnecessary travel to parts of Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua states. Embassy officials advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution. Drug cartels and associated criminal elements have retaliated violently against individuals who speak out against them or whom they otherwise view as a threat to their organizations.

Military and civilian members of the Fort McCoy work force deploying or traveling for official or nonofficial reasons outside the United States, its territories and possessions are required by the federal government to have an Antiterrorism Briefing within 12 months of travel, and a country specific briefing within two months of departure. These briefings will provide information about the conditions abroad that may affect safety and security.

At Fort McCoy, these briefings are presented by the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), said Thomas DesJardins, Fort McCoy’s anti-terrorism officer. The Antiterrorism Briefing is presented in accordance with Army Regulation 525-13, Antiterrorism. The briefing lasts about an hour or can be taken in parts at the user’s convenience via the Antiterrorism Web site. The Antiterrorism Web site may be accessed from the Fort McCoy Corporate Network Force Protection page.

The country-specific briefings should be scheduled within two months of travel. Federal personnel at Fort McCoy can make these arrangements by contacting the DPTMS Security Division. Supervisors must be notified if personnel are traveling outside the United States.

“There are many benefits to getting the briefings before leaving the country,” DesJardins said.

Information in these briefings includes tips such as which inoculations are required, entry requirements for a specific country, information about the current terrorist activities and how to protect oneself in different situations.

Family members of installation work force members also are required to attend the briefings if they are traveling on official government orders. Attendance is optional for Family members traveling outside the country in a nonofficial government status. Family members in this status are encouraged to attend the briefings, as well. The briefings also are required for trips across the border to Mexico or Canada.

Americans need to be reminded constantly that they are considered a lawful target by transnational terrorists. By having the antiterrorism and country briefings Americans will become more aware of their surroundings and the various hazards, which exist in the different areas of the world.

For more information about scheduling antiterrorism or travel briefings, call DesJardins at 608-388-4719.

(Submitted by Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.)

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