MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --
Banners, posters and the marquees around Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune boast “Eagle Eyes,” the anti-terrorism and awareness program, in attempt to garner public support against threats.
The “Eagle Eyes” program trained over 25,000 service members and numerous civilians since 2004 on how to spot and respond to possible terrorist threats. The program is not letting up.
The recent Aurora, Colo., mass shooting and the 11-year anniversary of 9/11, keeps the ever present threat of terrorism and domestic unwarranted violence in the minds of everyone.
Jeff Strohman, the senior instructor and training program manager with the Mission Assurance Branch Training Section aboard the base, said since 2004 more than 72 terrorist plots were stopped due to a proactive public against threats.
“Eagle Eyes” originally offered just one class, but now offers classes throughout the year to many different types of organizations, commands and individuals in order to spread the knowledge of how to prevent terrorist threats.
Strohman said being vigilant is key and people can do their part by looking for suspicious activity such as individuals using camcorders aboard the base or using maps to plot routes.
Al-Qaeda plans between three and eight surveillance operations per attack, and it is at this time people need to act. Preventing the attack before it happens is the goal and during the surveillance period is when attacks are most vulnerable, said Strohman.
With a lack of common profile indicators and potential for domestic terrorists, both detecting and reporting are important. Criminals, outlaw motorcycle gangs, drug cartels and radical gangs are all reported to conduct terrorist-type activities.
“It’s everyone’s job to become a force multiplier,” said Strohman. A force multiplier is someone who can take a class, turn around and teach more people, 30 can turn into 10,000.
Additional classes including improvised explosive device recognition, surveillance detection and response to suicide bomber incidents are offered in order to stay ready for any threat.
To report suspicious activity or possible terrorist activities call the “Eagle Eyes” Awareness Program hotline at 451-3333 for cell phones and 9-1-1 on base phones. If you are out in town dial 9-1-1 to report an incident to the Onslow County Emergency Dispatch.