Monday, January 25, 2010

Protecting the Force: A Boss Mongo Recommendation

I just realized: in casting aspersions upon the DoD Fort Hood Report, I committed the cardinal sin of the potshot blogger. I bitched and kvetched without offering a better countersolution. So, here goes:

Instead of spending an inordinate amount of money and man-hours implementing the recommendations of the report (the recommendations regarding Force Protection anyway, I've got no opinion on all the recommendations--and there were lots of them--on the peripherals), spend a little bit of time and money standing up a Guardian program (I'm using the term Guardian because it's an FBI reporting program that the report recommends we get nested with. My Guardian is better). Or whatever name fits.

Do a threat vulnerability assessment of each military post; analyze which areas would be the most lucrative targets for an active shooter scenario. Then identify the "right" ratio of Soldiers that should be armed in order to keep that area safe. Then ask for military members to volunteer to act as armed Guardians on their post. Guardians would:
-be in the rank of Staff Sergeant or above
-receive a SECRET clearance, with the background check enhanced the way that the Fort Hood report says that MAJ Hasan's should have been
-undergo a psych screening, like unto the screening that our snipers go through before their training
-in states/counties allowing a CCW permit, Guardians would receive the training and permit, in states without CCW, Guardians would draw their weapons from the arms room or the Provost Martial at the startof the duty day and relinquish them before leaving post
-each post with a Guardian program would have an Army shrink dedicated to monitoring Guardians
-Guardians would receive an intensive entry level training program, and then have a required number of range and situational training hours per month
-Guardians would be thoroughly familiarized with the layout,"reaction plan" and anticipated timelines for all lucrative/vulnerable targets on the post (PX, Commissary, schools, day care, SRP centers, hospitals), they would know the local SWAT/SRT plans and reaction times for all these locations, and would train periodically with those higher-end units
-Guardians would carry concealed throughout the duty day both at their place of duty and wherever they might go on post through the course of the day
-Guardians would receive an additional skill identifier that 1) counts toward promotion and 2) goes with them when they change units/posts, so that the pool of Guardians is always growing
-the Army already has a designated Force Protection compact pistol, the M11, which Guardians would carry instead of the M9 (just because I don't like the M9, and hey, it's my program, right?)

Two minutes and forty seconds after the first 911 call, first responders were at the scene of Hasan's shooting spree, 90 seconds later Hasan was incapacitated. In the interim, fourteen people were killed and 43 others were wounded or injured. How much lower would those numbers be if trained, motivated, and armed Soldiers with the charter to protect their brethren were in that SRP Center when Hasan started shooting?

I'll guarantee you two things: this solution would have a better chance of stopping or mitigating another active shooter scenario on an Army installation than all of the recommendations in the DoD report, and Army leadership will never, ever acquiesce to this sort of program. Too risky, from the bureaucracy's point of view.

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