You're vital to base security Published Oct. 16, 2008 By Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill 81st Training Wing commander KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISS. -- Our 81st Security Forces Squadron does a great job protecting us and has been very innovative in implementing Integrated Base Defense. The advent of the bicycle-mounted Falcon patrols, introduction of new technologies such as infrared and ground radar monitoring and mobile all-terrain vehicles give us better and more flexible defenses. Yet, there is one critical part of our Integrated Base Defense concept that we rely on the most: you. It is said that the police are only as good as the citizens around them. All of us have a special responsibility as wingmen to look out for one another. Talk with our security forces or our local policemen and they will tell you that the best deterrent to crime is a strong community with neighbors who look out for one another. I agree. Be on the lookout for those things that are out of place or don't look right and bring it to the attention of the right people. What do you do if you see someone after duty hours carrying computer gear out of a building and putting it in the trunk of their car? What do you do if you see some kids throwing rocks at the windows of an empty house? What do you do if you see someone not affiliated with the base hanging around one of the housing areas? If it doesn't look right, it probably isn't. When in doubt, do not hesitate to call our base defense operations center at 377-3040 to ask for help. You can help with some simple, yet very effective techniques of your own to improve our base security. For example, never (and I mean NEVER) leave purses and wallets or anything else valuable unattended and visible in your vehicle. Doing so makes your vehicle an attractive target for thieves. Also, lock your doors and windows when you are not home. Statistics from around the country show a significant percentage of unlocked doors and windows contributed to home break-ins and thefts. A locked door or window is a deterrent to most criminals. Similarly, when you leave your office, make sure everything is properly secured and locked. Also, make sure you properly accomplish your end of day security checks and properly secure all classified and valuable materials. All of us are part of the Integrated Base Defense team. Whether you are military member, a civilian employee, a contractor, or a family member, you are a valuable part of the team. Let's continue to partner together to protect our base and our Air Force family.