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News > Eagle Eyes program helps prevent hostile actions
Eagle Eyes program helps prevent hostile actions

Posted 5/1/2011   Updated 5/1/2011 Email story   Print story


by Special Agent Gerry Saria
Air Force Office of Special Investigations Det. 307

5/1/2011 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Eagle Eyes is an Air Force-wide program designed to deter nefarious activities by educating the public to recognize and report indicators of a pending attack or hostile act.

Eagle Eyes is similar to a "Neighborhood Watch," but it has more of a global reach due to the Air Force's unique mission. However, Eagle Eyes is not only intended to sensitize the installation populace but is geared to educate the local community as well.

The Eagle Eyes program was created following analysis of real-world events which showed every terrorist act was preceded by observable planning activities. In fact, it was found when people are aware of pre-attack indicators and have an avenue for reporting suspicious activities, terrorist attacks can be mitigated. There are seven categories highlighted in Eagle Eyes: surveillance, elicitation, test of security, acquiring supplies, suspicious persons who are out of place, dry run and deployment of assets.

This program has two components: promotional and operational. Under the promotional component, Air Force Office of Special Investigations units at all levels work to educate Airmen and local citizens on what constitutes a suspicious activity.

Additionally, OSI units work with local wing leadership to ensure they have support to reach as many people as possible. Finally, OSI and local public affairs offices serve as publicity advocates to the program, ensuring promotional materials are disseminated efficiently and effectively.

The operational component of Eagle Eyes involves a joint effort between OSI and local authorities to build processes to manage incoming reports. Information referred to OSI indicating a potential threat is turned into a suspicious activity report. The SAR is then forwarded to OSI Watch for analysis and posting to the Eagle Watch website.

The SAR is disseminated to installation law enforcement authorities as well as wing leadership once it is finalized. The report is also forwarded to local, state and federal agencies for their situational awareness.

The key to Eagle Eyes' success relies heavily on base-level support and participation. It is crucial for installation leadership to ensure the program has a platform to reach its intended recipient. Likewise, timely reporting, processing and dissemination of any threat information is as vital as any step in the reporting chain. More than 5,000 reports have been processed in support of the program since its inception.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Baltimore Field Office implemented a similar program within the Joint Terrorism Task Force and credited OSI for the idea as a testament to its relevance and effectiveness. Additionally, law enforcement agencies in South Florida, California, Minnesota, North Dakota and New York have formulated their own program, using Eagle Eyes as their benchmark.

For more information about the Eagle Eyes program, please call 754-8830.

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