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Workshop shows ways to increase security, safeguard assets in workplace

1/24/2012 - WILLOW GROVE AIR RESERVE STATION, PA --      During a three-day Security Managers training session held mid-January, instructors provided initial and refresher training to unit security managers with a focus on personal security matters, equipment and document security and ensuring procedures were in line for contractors that may come in contact with classified areas or information.
     Each member of the Air Force and Air National Guard is subject to a personal background investigation.  The depth, frequency of investigation and level of scrutiny are dependent on the sensitivity of the information that you will be required to access. Predominately, Air Force and Air Guard members are invested to qualify to the "secret" level and are subjected to an initial enlistment processing and repeat on a ten year basis. Those individuals that will be required to access "top secret" information receive reinvestigations on a five year basis.
     The clearance investigation's goal is to check into a person's character, loyalty and trustworthiness. Frequently, personal interviews are conducted with your listed references, supervisors, relatives and neighbors in order to verify the information included on the form.
     Instructors Chief Master Sgt. Michael Sullivan, Information Protection and Anti-Terrorism Officer of the 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire ANG and Master Sgt. Chad Snader of the 166th Airlift Wing Security Forces Squadron in New Castle, Del. described some measures to ease your background investigation process:
     First and foremost, be honest and forthright when completing the questionnaire for national security. The 20 plus page questionnaire requires detailed, careful input of your past and current information. Employment history, addresses, relatives and litigations are required. Explaining any potentially negative issues you may have encountered will aid in reducing processing time.
     Review your personal financial background. The majority of rejected background investigations have been directly related to financial responsibility issues revealed as investigators check through your past. "An individual's personal reliability could be in question if records indicate a track record of financial instability," said Chief Sullivan.
     "Today, it is so easy for someone to open an account using you as their unknown victim. Unauthorized credit cards, loans and past due financial obligations do not just impact your credit rating, they may very well impact your suitably for continued military service," Snader said. He recommended visiting AnnualCreditReport.com to receive your free financial records history.
     Security is the responsibility of every serviceman and woman. Following procedures for opening vaults and safes, protection of information, classified documents or equipment could have national implications. Take your duties seriously. Correct individuals who may be lax in security measures and immediately report real loss or potentially compromised classified items as soon as possible to your supervisor, Unit Security Manager or Security Forces Squadron.