News: Operation Purple Dragon
Story by Staff Sgt. Rebecca Wood
NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY - Last week, 26 Joint Task Force personnel participated in a four-day Operation Security Analysis and Program Management Course, taught by members of the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center from San Antonio, Texas.
“This course was a great way to for me to identify aspects of OPSEC that I wasn’t aware of before,” said Staff Sgt. Caleb Guillory, an operations noncommissioned officer with the 2228th Military Police Company. “I now have policies and procedures that I can implement back in my unit and make Soldiers fully aware of what OPSEC really means.”
Operations security is defined as measures that must be taken by the government, organization or individual to identify, control and protect unclassified information in order to deny or mitigate an adversary or competitor’s ability to compromise or interrupt an operation or activity.
The 40-hour class helped the students understand why they need to protect critical information with the use of examples not normally discussed in common annual OPSEC briefings.
“The class was very eye opening,” said Army 1st Lt. Alex Burton, security manager for the 491st MP Co.,” “it made you think that some of the pleasures we have—like smart phones—are not as secure as we were made to believe. I immediately put a password on my phone at the first break to give myself a little protection.”
Christopher R. Turner Sr., one of JIOWC instructors for the OPSEC course, said throughout the eight years he has been an instructor, he has seen a positive shift in military personnel.
“We are getting better trained OPSEC program managers who understand that this responsibility is not just another collateral duty,” said Turner. “They strive to run their unit’s OPSEC programs in a more dedicated way.”
“We also are seeing more of the commanders taking ownership of the program,” he said. “This is amazing because OPSEC, as a practice, simply does not work without the senior leadership’s support. Even with the most dedicated OPSEC program manager, the leaders have to set the standard for the rest of the workforce.”
The senior leadership at Guantanamo Bay views operations security as an important puzzle piece to an even larger picture of what makes up the JTF.
JTF Commander, Navy Rear Adm. Richard W. Butler, showed his support by making an appearance on the last day of training to congratulate the troops and to present certificates.
OPSEC Gabe, JTF OPSEC program manager, is in charge of the awareness and training of all personnel throughout the JTF as well as managing OPSEC policies and unit assessments.
He is proud to have 26 new OPSEC practitioners at Guantanamo Bay but also had another purpose for the class in mind.
“I wanted to show our personnel that the OPSEC program taught in the school houses is being applied here at the JTF,” said Gabe. “I wanted to show the command that OPSEC is not only done by the book here but also growing and expanding according to the needs of each unit rotation and the ever-changing global interest in Guantanamo Bay.”
If you wish coordinate unit training or have question regarding OPSEC, please contact OPSEC Gabe at ext. 8506.