Force Protection Conditions and their effect on personnel

It is practically guaranteed at some point during the annual Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain (CSSC) exercise Feb. 3-14, it will become necessary to increase the Force Protection Condition (FPCON) at NAS Patuxent River, and the information below will help personnel understand what is involved.

What is FPCON?

• Terrorist threat system that describes the measures needed to be taken by security agencies in response to various levels of terrorist threats against military facilities and reduces the risk of terrorist attacks and other security threats to Department of Defense personnel, property and activities

• Five progressive levels of increasing measures from Normal to Delta, which incrementally raise protection preparedness

• Determined by the direction of U.S. Northern Command (NorthCom) and can be affected by local, national or worldwide activity

• The NAS commanding officer has the authority to increase a force protection condition, based on local activity or threats, but is unable to reduce a condition determined by NorthCom without written consent

How will it affect Pax personnel?

• The first result of any heightened FPCON measure will be noticed at the entry gates where employees will see additional security such as barriers controlling traffic flow, 100 percent ID checks of everyone in car; or random inspections of cars

• Once aboard the installation, dependent on which FPCON is in effect, employees might see additional security, fire and emergency services personnel; military police dogs conducting searches; closed streets or parking lots; barriers detouring traffic; searching bags before entering a building; locked down buildings; or being called to Shelter in Place

As a result of an increased FPCON measure, commuters may experience brief, temporary travel time delays and traffic backup at the entry gates; but keep in mind — whatever situation or inconvenience we encounter during CSSC — it is for our own safety and protection.