MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE -- In the fight against terrorism, it’s important to always remain vigilant.
The Eagle Eyes program, launched in 2004, is a hotline for anyone in the military community to report and raise awareness of suspicious activity.
Through intelligence gathering, the United Nations learned Al Qaida, an international terrorist organization, usually conducts three to eight surveillance operations before each attack.
During at least one of those surveillance operations, an insurgent is physically at the possible location.
“They don’t want to fail,” said Jeffrey Strohman, the mission assurance training program manager. “(The terrorists) know having someone physically survey a location is the weakest point of the whole preplanning operation because they could get caught. That’s their vulnerability, and we want to exploit that.”
Disseminating the hotline information throughout the military community is the goal of the program, Strohman added.
“All (service members, dependents and DoD civilians) become force multipliers for the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River and MCAS Cherry Point areas,” Strohman said. “(The program) is inserted into all the training evolutions so everybody knows how to use it.”
Eagle Eyes is used as a training tool for the local police and Provost Marshal’s Office personnel at the entry points of Camp Lejeune to report suspicious activity during exercises. A simulated suspect performs suspicious activity during an exercise and the gate guards report it using the hotline or website. “I’ve noticed the Eagle Eyes information all around the base,” said Staff Sgt. Francisco M. Martinez, inbound section, installation personnel administration center staff noncommissioned officer in charge. “This is great information for everyone to know, because we have to stay vigilant even in garrison.”
Strohman spearheaded the Eagle Eyes program from the ground up and aligned it with the new Trapwire online reporting program.
The Trapwire program offers a website link available from any mobile device capable of accessing the internet to upload reporting information and photos of suspicious persons or activity to a national database for law enforcement to cross reference.
If someone in Texas takes a photo of a suspicious vehicle or person and uploads it to the Trapwire website, and the same vehicle or person is reported in another part of the country, law enforcement can work together to locate terrorist sleeper cells or any other kind of threat that may occur, Strohman said.
“The Trapwire online program complements the existing Eagle Eyes program very well,” Strohman said. “It’s a good asset, and it’s working.”
Strohman conducts classes about incident response procedures and first responder training and incorporates the information of the programs into each of his classes.
“This is risk mitigation through training and technology,” said Strohman.
The programs are advertised throughout base with signs and on the electronic billboards as well as a Facebook page to inform the community.
For more information about Eagle Eyes or Trapwire, contact Jeffrey Strohman at 451-9353, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To report suspicious activity, visit www.usmceagleeyes.org or call the Eagle Eyes number at 451-3333.
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