PRESIDIO DE MONTEREY, Calif. (September 2, 2021) – Counterterrorism Awareness Month has officially ended, but members of the Presidio de Monterey community now have plenty to practice throughout the year.
This year’s outreach efforts included an active marksmanship exercise, a proclamation signing, the distribution of a Department of Defense survey, four anti-terrorism themed movie nights, and several community outreach events. Additionally, as a warm-up, organizers held another active marksmanship exercise and vehicle search training for security personnel in July.
“It’s a real team effort,” said Janice Quenga, counterterrorism officer for the US Army Garrison Presidio in Monterey, of the installation’s efforts. The garrison worked in partnership with the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center’s counterterrorism program and other organizations on the facility, such as the Directorate of Emergency Services and Family and Morale, Welfare and recreation, to make it all happen.
To illustrate this partnership, Col. Varman Chhoeung, Commander USAG PoM, and Col. James A. Kievit, Commander DLIFLC, jointly signed the Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month proclamation at Garrison Headquarters on August 24.
Counterterrorism Awareness Month goes beyond the month itself, Chhoeung said, and those who live and work at the facility pay attention to it year-round to keep the community safe.
In a video message prior to the signing, Major General Donna Martin, in his now former role as Provost Marshal of the Army and Commanding General of the CID, stressed the importance of reporting suspicious behavior. âSeeing something and saying something can save lives,â she said.
Chhoeung said that an increase in reports and investigations at PoM shows that the âSee Something Say Somethingâ message is working.
Kievit also stressed the importance of counterterrorism aspects such as âSee Something Say Somethingâ, noting that they will help protect the community and the wider community of PoM, the military community of Ord and the surrounding area.
Glen Harrison, counterterrorism officer for DLIFLC, said that in addition to working with the garrison, he had conducted counterterrorism awareness training and worked with the language school’s counterterrorism officers to conduct random counterterrorism measures .
âIt’s important to spread this awareness information, especially with what’s going on in the world right now,â Harrison said. âCommunicating this information to the community is very, very important. “
Additionally, Harrison said he also conducted drills to make sure people know how to evacuate buildings safely.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Army Provost Marshal’s Counter-Terrorism Division awarded the DLIFLC Counter-Terrorism Program the Best Small Unit (Under Brigade) Award for the Counter-Terrorism Program Fiscal Year 2020, according to an announcement by the Provost Marshal of the American army.
Quenga said she appreciates the support Harrison and his team provide to the garrison.
Upon signing the proclamation, Chhoeung said the partnership between the garrison and DLIFLC goes beyond anti-terrorism.
âThe relationship between the DLI and the garrison is really a one-team relationship,â Chhoeung said. âWe are working together in all aspects to support the mission of training linguists for the Ministry of Defense. When I look across the room, I don’t see two different teams. I see a team working together towards the same mission.