JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
The Department of Defense and the United States Air Force properly focus on expeditionary readiness. We have rightfully recited the importance of ensuring “full spectrum readiness to deter combat operations” through our words and our deeds. We have instituted training programs, exercises, and combat simulators to ready ourselves for battles that would take place in far distant lands. Yet, a critical portion of our readiness applies here at home and is no less important than something that happens on a deployed battlefield.
News of suspicious packages and gate-runners has captured recent headlines and provides us an important reminder that there are dangerous threats demanding our vigilance here at home. Like the threat in an expeditionary environment, these threats require all of us to properly counter them.
Full-spectrum readiness implies activity in permissive and non-permissive environments and challenges from traditional and nontraditional actors. All of these are present, or could be present, here at home. Deterrence means that we are sufficiently strong and ready so that an adversary knows better than to challenge or threaten us. Again, creating a hard-target base to deter possible threats equally applies to our situation here at our home base as it does at overseas locations.
At Joint Base Andrews, we enjoy the security provided by an amazing group of security forces defenders. They ably provide the front-line of defense at our gates, while patrolling our base and flight-line interiors to establish secure defense in depth. They create a true hard-target problem for any potential adversary, but as capable as they are, they can’t do it alone. They need you, and they need me as a part of this important, high-impact, high-visibility community to keep us safe and secure.
The common mantra we hear is that if you “see something, say something.” Believe it or not, that is a fundamental part of full-spectrum readiness. It is also a foundational component of deterring home-station threats. Together, we provide a force of sensors, communication nodes, and security posts that are equal to the population of this massive installation. If we fail to do our part, then our deterrence fails, our readiness fails, and we all fail. We need you to be vigilant at your post – your workplaces, your homes, your travel routes, and your recreational activities. Not just on base, but off base as well. It is through this type of combined vigilance that we can enjoy security here at home and be just as ready as we would expect every military member to be on a battlefield far away.