In recent years we have increased security in the
Navy because of an upswing in terrorism and the
success by some countries to obtain our secrets. It is
estimated that Russia has more than 4,000 intelligence
officers gathering information. These Russian officers
work hard and are dedicated to obtaining our secrets
and undermining our armed forces. In recent years we
have become more aware of secret intelligence
gathering and spying by the Peoples Republic of
China. We are ever on the alert of Mid-East factions
exporting terrorist actions to the United States and our
other interests around the world. In the world of
terrorism and intelligence gathering there is no
nationality, country, or state of which we do not remain
cautious and ever vigilant.
How can you do your share to prevent security
breaches from happening within your unit? It is not an
easy job. All hands have to take an active part, or the
efforts are wasted. When you stand duty as the POOW,
you play an important part in the security of your ship
or unit. A list of personnel who are authorized to work
in the various departments is kept in the quarterdeck
area. These people may be shipyard personnel, civilian
vendors, or even personnel attached to a repair facility.
Limiting access on a need-to-know basis is the key
to security, whether aboard a ship or at a shore station.
With people going and coming all the time, it is hard to
keep track of them. Some people require escorts and
some do not. What and who determine the rules? This
decision is governed by instructions and is enforced by
the OOD or the security force. The level of security of
the command is determined by the sensitivity of various
parts of the command and/or the state of prevention,
such as sabotage, attacks by terrorists, and so forth.
It was mentioned earlier in this chapter that the
quarterdeck area should be clear of extra people all the
time. This effort will cut down on the opportunity for
unauthorized persons to come aboard. Watch standers
have the responsibility to account for all personnel who
cross the quarterdeck. All persons coming aboard your
unit should show proper identification. If they do not
have proper identification, deny them access and
contact the OOD for guidance. OPNAVINST 5510
series gives further details dealing with security.
What should you do when an unauthorized person
gains entrance to your ship or unit? You should sound
the proper alarm and pass the word following
instructions concerning unauthorized visitors aboard
your unit or ship. Remember, if you are in doubt as to
whether or not to sound an alarm and pass the word, do
it. The unauthorized person may be a terrorist or an
There are some areas of your ship that you cannot
watch; watching these areas is the job of the security
patrol or roving patrol. These patrols watch for fires,
out-of-the-ordinary happenings, and unauthorized
personnel. If an unauthorized person is found who
cannot account for being in a space or tries to leave the
area, an alarm should be sounded and appropriate action
taken to apprehend the person. This action is a function
of the Security Alert Team (SAT) aboard your ship.
In security matters we must always be alert for
things that may not look just right. Stay alert and watch
for anything that may threaten the lives of your
shipmates; their lives are in your hands while you are
Bomb threats are to be treated seriously at all
times. Petty officers must be trained to handle this
serious situation and lead their people. Even before a
threat arises, the training of subordinates will prepare
the crew to act instead of react to the threat. Safety is of
a major concern.
A bomb threat is a message delivered by telephone
or letter. A bomb incident is the detonation/ignition of
a bomb, discovery of a bomb, or receipt of a bomb.
Each requires the petty officer to act appropriately for
In the case of a bomb threat, information is the key
to disarming and avoiding catastrophe. Information
such as who, what, when, and most certainly where
should be obtained.
Who look/listen for clues to identify the
person. Is the person male or female, young or old, calm
or stressed? Does the voice reveal a possible nationality
such as a foreign dialect or accent?
What determine what type of bomb has been
planted. Is it dynamite, chemical, pipe bomb, etc.?
When the time is important. When is the
bomb set to detonate? Will there be many people around
or few people, such as midnight when most personnel
are on liberty?
Where narrow down the location of the bomb.
This will save time in evacuating personnel, locating the
bomb, and disarming it. If the threat made is to kill as
many people as possible that information might lead
searchers to look in populated areas. If the threat made is