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As we watched the attacks of 11 September, we realized that as a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) installation, we were not properly equipped to sustain the fuii time (24 hours per day, 7 days a week or 24/7) battle to defend ourselves against terrorism. Since our primary mission at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, is to train intelligence soldiers, we have not focused on conducting tactical force protection (FP) missions. As we executed the tasks called for in our antiterrorism/force protection (AT/FP) plan and began our initial planning sessions, we realized that with innovative thinking, the basic Army tasks of the military decision-making process (MDMP) would continue to serve us well. We received initial guidance from our higher headquarters and our commanding general. In order to be effective in this emerging operating environment, we had to focus on detailed integration at both the planning and execution levels.
Initial Post-Attack FP
We quickly completed a hasty MDMP soon after the attacks and supplemented our AT/EP plan a few weeks later with a published operation plan. Fortunately, we had updated our AT/FP plan in January 2001 and exercised it with an internally driven FP exercise in March 2001. The knowledge gained from that process meant that we were not starting the AT/FP cycle at the beginning of its first evolution in the midst of a high operational tempo (OPTEMPO) FP environment. As we received news of the attacks, we immediately began implementing our January 2001 plan. We quickly staffed joint decisions on adjustments to that plan while we executed its initial requirements. One example was to increase the augmentation to the access control points to ensure adequate force protection and allow for sustained operations. This change was necessary because we had not planned on maintaining Force Protection Condition (FPCON) Delta, or even Charlie, for a prolonged period. Another adjustment we made was to the mission essential vulnerab le areas (MEVAs) list. The list we developed in January was thorough; too thorough to provide us the focus we needed with our limited resources of time and engineer assets. Our barrier plans were very limited and did not place much emphasis beyond securing the gates and a few critical buildings. This forced us to take a very hard look at what was truly mission-essential and also vulnerable.
We had other, more practical, considerations in the hours and days after the attacks. We had to reevaluate who was mission essential. We had a baseline list (by unit) from which to begin but soon realized that this would have to be adapted. Again, our baseline did not deal with sustaining an increased FP level. One of our basic assumptions was that we would not sustain an elevated FP level for more than a few days. With the FPCON Delta-associated imminent threat, we ceased training, closed all …