Thursday, November 20, 2014

Perks of Power (A Continuing Series)

Our base commander periodically convenes “Town Halls” for the community, during which she takes audience questions.  The answers to some recent ones were published via email:

1) “Given the worldwide call for a fatwa on Americans and especially American military personnel, and given that we are all most vulnerable in our cars going to and from work, what is being done to allow those in the Flyover workforce who are properly licensed to be able to protect themselves during these extra vulnerable periods w/o breaking the law when entering base? I have already heard people say that they would prefer to face punishment than not to be able to protect themselves.”

Now, I will stipulate that the ISIS terrorist threat to any particular individual working on a stateside military installation isn’t nearly the threat posed by, for instance, a car accident on his daily commute.  That said . . .

Answer: Anti-terrorism measures are in place to protect members of the Department of Defense, the Air Force, and Flyover AFB. If you see, hear, or learn of a credible threat, contact your Unit Security Manager, Operation Eagle Eyes at xxx-3937, or AFOSI at xxx-4553. Specific measures DoD employees should take to reduce any risk of threat are to vary the employee’s routine at least once a week by utilizing a different Base Entrance (Gate) than is normally used; be aware of surroundings at home, including using care regarding the wear of military-specific clothing and periodically checking around and under motor vehicles for anything suspicious; and to keep the following base contact emergency numbers handy:

- Emergency: (xxx) xxx-9111

- Law Enforcement Desk: (xxx) xxx-6516

- Alternate SFS #s: (xxx) xxx-6517, xxx-6841, xxx-6842, or xxx-2177

- Fire Dispatch: (xxx) xxx-3033

Yes, we understand that ISIS terrorism is officially A Thing.  And I’m all kinds of happy that, after the terrorist/madman has killed everyone available to him, your “First Responders” might happen along to put him down before he does the job himself.  But the actual answer to the specific question is still to come:

The limitation of privately owned weapons falls squarely within the plenary powers of the Installation Commander. Base policy is not to overly restrict the possession of weapons by installation personnel. However, it is recognized additional controls beyond those in civilian jurisdictions are necessary. In the Flyover AFB Integrated Defense Plan, the Installation Commander has directed privately owned weapons will not be transported or possessed on Flyover AFB with the exception of storage in the  SFS Armory, approved use of handguns at the Rod and Gun Club, and the use of some weapons in the course of approved hunting on the installation. Failure to comply with this direction may subject the violator to barment actions, administrative actions, and/or criminal prosecution.

My paraphrase: “Nyah, nyah, I’m in charge, you have to do what I say!”  Here we aren’t even given the courtesy of a fig leaf of a justification for the policy.

On a positive note, the installation armory just happens to be located right next to the building where I work, and the armory personnel were efficient and courteous as they checked my pistol in and out. It's not something that I would do every day, given my assessment of the actual risk. But if I had to, I could.


Anonymous said...

Even talking aboout the option of defending myself is what got me into trouble at the pentagon. Talking about being armed, in a philosophical discussion = being an insider threat (the only real threat the US military cares about).

And since every onstallation has the same rules, i suspect it is not within the installation commander's authority to change it. Whenever you see this level of conformity, it is always following orders.

Dr. Φ said...

GV: You should move out here to flyover country. Today our squadron had a Wingman Day: after an hour of briefings about how bad sexual harassment is, we had our pick of three group activities, one of which was going to a local shooting range. Most people brought their own weapons to pass.

Dr. Φ said...

BTW, I learned today that, although the base armory does store POWs, it's really at their discretion. They said it was okay for special occasions but not for every day. Plus, we're subject to random aggravations like having to wait for a patrol car to escort us the 100 or so meters from the gate to the armory.

Dr. Φ said...

GV: On an unrelated note, I'd like to add you to the blogroll, if that's okay.

Anonymous said...

You have my permission to blogroll me. I have no interest in seeking to control your artistic freedom or otherwise regulate the internet. But thanks for asking. I never ask before blogrolling someone. Should I?