Army releases Fort Hood panel recommendations
Army releases Fort Hood panel recommendations
In releasing its report on the shooting at Fort Hood in November 2009, Army Secretary John McHugh said. "This tragedy caused us to take a hard look at ourselves over the last year."Adding, "We are committed to ensuring the men and women and their families, who step forward and serve in these very challenging times, can rely upon us to take care of them in every way possible."To date, the Army has implemented or is taking definitive action on 66 of the 79 DoD Independent Review Panel recommendations. (DoD is the lead agency for the remaining 13 recommendations and the Army is working with DoD to determine specific future actions.)"While we know we can never eliminate every potential threat, we’ve learned from the events at Fort Hood," said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr.Adding, "We have made significant progress, particularly in threat awareness and reporting, coordination in intelligence sharing, and training for our security forces, but our work is not done."To date, the Army has instituted several major changes as a result of the internal review, to include:
- Developed and implemented the Threat Awareness and Reporting Program. Centered on identifying and reporting ‘insider threats’ and emphasizing Soldier awareness and reporting, this new program created the Counterintelligence Fusion Cell and developed systems to improve information sharing within the Army and with other agencies.
- Developed and implemented the iWatch and iSalute programs. The iWatch program is a 21st century version of the neighborhood watch program and integrates terrorism prevention and suspicious activity reporting.
The iSalute program is an online counterintelligence reporting system through the Army’s main intranet and primary web portal, Army Knowledge Online. Soldiers, family members and Department of the Army employees can now electronically file reports that will initiate an interview with Army counterintelligence personnel.
- Provided Army security force personnel access to the National Crime Information Center for screening of personnel at installation visitor centers. This has enabled the Army to quickly verify personnel records and screen for past criminal records.
- Established the Army Personnel Security Investigation Center of Excellence at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., to oversee an enhanced screening program. This center now serves as the central submission and processing point for all Army personnel security and suitability background investigations.
It better ensures a comprehensive quality review of all Army personnel background investigations and has reduced the overall processing time for a security clearance or employment suitability determination by 80 percent.
- Implemented training programs to increase information sharing. Through cooperation with civilian law enforcement and other organizations, the Army has leveraged proven best practices to increase training and improve coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement, all in an effort to maintain better situational awareness.
- Implemented training to increase incident response capability and leveraged civilian law enforcement best practices to improve the Army’s ability to respond. To date, more than 23,000 security force personnel have received additional training in law enforcement functions.
More than 2,700 Army law enforcement personnel at 122 Army installations have undergone training in how to respond to an ‘active shooter’ scenario.
- Added "active victim" training to the Army’s annual anti-terrorism awareness training, in order to train our work force on actions to take if caught in an active shooter event.
- Instituted a traumatic event management program that has trained 95 medical specialists and chaplains to date.
- Upgraded telephone alert systems on 26 installations to comply with information assurance and network standards.
- Fielding automated screening devices for access control to nine installations by the end of FY 11.
"Taken individually, no single action would have prevented the tragedy at Fort Hood. However, in the aggregate, the initiatives outlined by the Army’s internal review will improve the Army’s ability to mitigate internal threats, better ensure force protection, enable emergency response and provide care for the victims and families," Maj. Gen. Robert Radin, who led the Army’s internal review team, said.Adding, "There is much more to do and the Army is committed to doing all it can as we continue as part of a larger DoD effort."The Army’s internal review team included representatives from the Headquarters, Department of the Army staff and received input from Army commands, direct reporting units and the Army National Guard.The teams visited 17 installations worldwide and surveyed 84 installation commanders. During the installation visits, teams met with senior mission commanders, installation commanders and key staff and conducted detailed interviews.Informed by the recommendations of the Radin report, McHugh has designated the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, as the Army staff lead for the Army Protection Program.In this role, the G-3/5/7 will integrate and synchronize all components of the Army Protection Program.The full 122-page report is found on www.army.mil.(Editor’s note: This article is based on an Army News Service report.)