'Threats in shadows': Every stateside soldier should know they may be targets of terrorist threats where they live...
Every stateside soldier should know they may be targets of terrorist threats where they live, and every commander at a U.S. installation should know who to call if a threat appears at their gate, experts said at the AUSA convention on Wednesday.
They included a law enforcement official with lessons from the 2013 Navy Yard shootings, and the sheriff of Charleston County, S.C., where a mass shooting at a local church this summer stunned the nation.
One of the most emphatic messages from the military and civilian leaders at the session on "Countering Violent Extremist Threats to Army and DoD Personnel and Facilities" was this: both installation personnel and their local civilian law enforcement must be able to pick up the phone and know who to call when they need to reach each other in an emergency.
Threats facing the nation are now more complex, with rogue states, terrorist organizations and lone wolves all part of threat assessments, said retired Rear Adm. Don Loren, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Security Integration, who was on the panel.
"We now have to defend installations and personnel here at home," he said.
The frantic morning of the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., is one example of what amounts to a stateside fog of war.
"There was confusion as to who was in charge at the [Navy Yard] base" that morning as police scrambled to respond to reports of a live shooter, said Assistant Chief Lamar Greene of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Since then, he said, the Washington police have had more training about who was in charge and who they need to send out to the incident command there.
"We have done drills at the Navy Yard and at Fort McNair," he said. "We are learning each other's procedures."
For the Army, the same kinds of lessons are being learned.