Panetta heightens military security for Sept. 11

The Defense Department has raised the force protection level for all U.S. military facilities for the duration of the Sept. 11 anniversary. The increase in security was authorized by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Army Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command, requested the action in recent days in advance of the 10th anniversary 9/11, according to a DOD statement. This request was reviewed by Panetta and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"This is not in response to any specific or credible threat surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but we believe it is prudent and precautionary to take such a step," said DOD Press Secretary George Little in a Sept. 7 statement.

Although DOD does not discuss specific force protection levels, Navy Capt. John Kirby, director of media operations, said in a statement that the level would be raised at installations throughout the continental U.S., including at the Pentagon.

"While there is no specific or credible intelligence that al-Qaida or its affiliates are plotting attacks in the United States to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, we remain at a heightened state of vigilance, and security measures are in place to detect and prevent plots against the United States, should they emerge," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a Sept. 2 statement.

The four levels of force protection used by the U.S. military are Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta. Alpha is the lowest level, and Delta is the highest. DOD officials said it is up to the United States Northern Command called "USNORTHCOM" and other combatant commanders to set the force protection levels for installations in their areas of responsibility.

About the Author

Henry Kenyon is a contributing writer for Defense Systems.

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