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Service members, families, to observe “worldwide caution”

A U.S. flag hangs over the passenger terminal on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 14, 2017. Officials assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing encouraged military members and government civilians to stay vigilant while going about their business or taking leisure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

A U.S. flag hangs over the passenger terminal on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 14, 2017. Officials assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing encouraged military members and government civilians to stay vigilant while going about their business or taking leisure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- 86th Airlift Wing leadership encourages military members and government civilians to stay vigilant while going about their business or taking leisure.

Following a Dec. 6, declaration from the U.S. Department of State concerning “worldwide caution,” the 86th AW’s anti-terrorism representatives said members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community should exercise extra precautions to protect themselves and their families.

While the statement of caution doesn’t specify any event which might cause concern, KMC members should heed the State Department’s warning, said Master Sgt. Daniel Camacho, 86th Security Forces Squadron anti-terrorism and force protection manager.

“When we received this holiday warning message, we distributed (it) to the antiterrorism representatives so they could distribute this message to their personnel and families,” he said. “Whenever our office is notified of protests or we receive intelligence of potentially harmful areas, we work with the 86th AW Public Affairs office to send out messages on as many outlets (as possible) to warn service members and their families.”

“This time of the season is risky due to the amount of mass gatherings there are across Europe,” Camacho added.

In addition to practicing basic risk management and situational awareness skills, Camacho encouraged people taking leave to familiarize themselves with their destinations ahead of time. Some countries or regions require additional clearance for military members to visit, so potential travelers should check the Pentagon’s online Foreign Clearance Guide, the State Department website, and contact their local Air Force Office of Special Investigations unit.

Camacho also recommended travelers to enroll in the State Department’s free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which registers their trip with the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

According to the State Department, places that could be targeted are hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, parks, public transportation systems, and public events. Private U.S. citizens are also highly discouraged from traveling to other countries to participate in armed conflicts.