What is OPSEC and Why Do We Have It
What is OPSEC? It’s a process of protecting little pieces of information that might grouped together to give the bigger picture. It is also protecting critical information deemed mission essential for military commanders. It is simply denying your adversary the information that they might need to harm you or the mission. The AR that covers OPSEC is AR 530-1 and goes over purposes, responsibilities, policy, procedures, training requirements, OPSEC review, assessment, survey, contract and subcontract requirements and special access programs. The reasons why we have OPSEC is because any vital information that the enemy can get their hands on can give them an advantage on the battle field or operations. Those little pieces of information could show the enemy the full picture of what it is that we plan to execute. Most don’t know what is considered vital information. Think about it, what would you like to know about your enemy and how to infiltrate, interfere or stop their objective. How about where you are going, when you are going, how are you moving, what equipment that you will be using and even what paths have you taken before. Even your unit’s job association can be a part of the information they can gather on. Certain identifying marks such as your unit patch, or any other unit/ battalion identifiers can even give information. For instance the enemy is looking at the patch and can look up through Google and find out what unit you are with and keep open eyes and ears to see if they can get any information on what your purpose is and where you will be. Even taking pictures in certain places can give the enemy a layout of an area. It’s not wise to take pictures of equipment, it would not be hard with the information highway to find out all they need to know about certain functions of our equipment and their weak spots as well. In this day in age we have the social media network that can also help the enemy track and get information. How OPSEC affects family and social networking We all have friends and family that want to know what you are doing but there are only so many things that you can tell them without violating OPSEC. You are not the only one who needs to understand why there is OPSEC, your family needs to understand its importance as well. Any information you give them and they put out there can affect you and them. The military offers family members who are curious about OPSEC classes and briefs at the FRG meetings. They go over what it stands for and why it’s so important in the military. There are also links on the internet that explain and answers a lot of questions they may have. There is also a Facebook page that family members can go on, it’s called Army Operation Security. Your family has to understand that there is only so much you can tell them and even what you do tell them they don’t need to be telling others or posting it on Facebook. Without thinking they could accidently put the information out without knowing if the person they told is the enemy or a spy. You know what they say keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer. The enemy thinks the same way and will do whatever it takes to get the information they need to plan and infiltrate our operations. Families are the biggest target for our enemies to infiltrate and get information. One more important thing to think about is the enemy could be anyone, American or even your family you never know. There are many reasons why we have OPSEC but not taking the proper measures can result in serious injury or death to personnel, damage to weapons systems, equipment and facilities, loss of sensitive technologies and mission failure. The process of OPSEC There is a process to OPSEC as well the subjects that are covered are identification of critical information, analysis of threats, analysis of vulnerabilities,...
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