Andersen members go dumpster diving

  • Published
  • By Airman Evan Carter
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Exercise evaluation team members across the wing were asked to get their hands dirty and go diving in dumpsters during the recent Cope North and Valiant Shield exercises.

The order was given by Col. Michael Boera, 36th Wing commander, and the inspector general’s office was office of primary responsibility. They tasked squadron’s exercise evaluation team members to carry out the dumpster dive order by looking for any information that could be used to compromise or cause interference with the mission or information that could be used for identity theft.

The policy is very important to security for a number of reasons.

“It protects the base from acts of espionage, intel gathering and terrorism attack,” said Tech. Sgt. Jerry Mosley, 36th WG IG office. “It also protects the privacy of the base population and prevents identity theft.”

According to the IG office staff, several materials were found that could compromise security. Enlisted performance reports, Social Security numbers, deployment information with locations, travel vouchers to include members’ personal information, phone numbers, home address information, recall rosters, deployment schedules, duty rosters and unit organization charts were among the items found.

Master Sgt. Yvette Lock, 36th Comptroller Squadron, was one of the EET members tasked. She uncovered several items that could have been used maliciously if found by the wrong person.

“Papers with names and SSNs, budget information and resource advisors’ names and numbers were found,” said Sergeant Lock.

Team Andersen has had a 100 percent shred policy in effect since the wing commander implemented it in 2004.

Identity theft occurs when someone takes your name, Social Security number, credit card number, or some other piece of your personal information for their own use. In short, identity theft occurs when someone appropriates your personal information, without your knowledge, to commit fraud or theft. According to “USA Today,” some victims of identity theft have been forced to legally change their names, while others have spent years trying to untangle their credit.

By shredding confidential and personal information, the likelihood of a criminal compromising the mission or overtaking one's identity decreases. Less material for someone sifting through the garbage looking for private information means less chances of trouble. The Air Force has displayed its commitment to its members by providing a document destruction program, according to Sergeant Mosley.

Tech. Sgt. Richard M. Ciotuszynski, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron, also an EET member, believes the mistakes of one can affect all of us.

“The base as a whole must always watch what we throw out in the trash. The wing commander has implemented a 100 percent shred policy for all paperwork throughout the base. This must be adhered to at all times,” said Sergeant Ciotuszynski. “While performing our duties we sometimes forget to shred an EPR or recall roster that is obsolete. This, in the hands of a criminal, can have an adverse effect on not just the person, but the military as a whole.”