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News > Need to know: FPCON levels
Need to know: FPCON levels

Posted 11/9/2010   Updated 11/9/2010 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Sondra Escutia
49th Wing Public Affairs Office

11/9/2010 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- Every member of Team Holloman should recognize the five different Force Protection Conditions and know what to do in the event the conditions are ever changed.

The FPCON system is directed by the Department of Defense to position military facilities against possible threats. These levels can be adjusted by commanders based on local conditions, specific threat information or guidance from higher headquarters.

"Knowing how to respond to the FPCON is imperative," said L.K. Crosthwait, 49th Wing Antiterrorism officer. "The FPCON system allows the base to quickly increase protective measures if a threat exists, and the learning curve can be confusing."

Mr. Crosthwait said the FPCONs have varying degrees of restrictiveness with the more restrictive conditions reserved for periods of suspected or anticipated aggressive activities.

He added while the specifics of each FPCON cannot be discussed, these conditions apply to all members of Team Holloman to include DoD military and civilian personnel and supporting defense contractors, as well as all persons visiting any facilities on Holloman.

Even during an exercise, the base FPCON directly affects the security measures taken by not only security forces, but all Holloman personnel.

"All of the appropriate security measures must be followed by everyone on base - whether it be for an exercise or actual event. There are no exercise FPCONs -- the FPCON is the FPCON -- even if FPCONs are changed due only to an exercise," he said. "With the upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection, each Team Holloman member should be aware of the FPCON system because FPCON measures taken in an exercise will be the same action taken if an actual event occurred. Practicing FPCON changes, keeping situational awareness and taking a defensive posture in an exercise ensures we are all ready in the case of a real-world threat."

The FPCON levels are posted at all the gates on Holloman, on entrance ways to buildings and on the marquees around the base.

Mr. Crosthwait said he encourages everyone to get the word out, "tell everyone," and be aware of the FPCON level at all times. He added that it is also a good idea to learn the threat levels of foreign countries, military bases and locations inside and outside the U.S. when on temporary duty or traveling.

The 49th WG Antiterrorism Office provided the following list of each FPCON level:

FPCON NORMAL: Applies when a general global threat of possible terrorist activity exists and warrants a routine security posture. FPCON Normal warrants a routine security posture.

FPCON ALPHA: Applies when there is an increased general threat of possible terrorist activity against personnel or facilities, the nature and extent of which are unpredictable. FPCON Alpha measures must be capable of being maintained indefinitely.

FPCON BRAVO: Applies when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists. Sustaining FPCON Bravo measures for a prolonged period may affect operational capability and military-civil relationships with local authorities.

FPCON CHARLIE: Applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating that some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely. Implementation of FPCON Charlie measures may create hardship and affect the activities of the unit and its personnel.

FPCON DELTA: Applies in the immediate area where a terrorist attack has occurred or when intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific location or person is imminent. FPCON Delta is usually declared as a localized condition and is not intended to be sustained for substantial periods of time.

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