NORTHCOM Raises Threat Levels at U.S. Military Installations

Gate guard. Sue Sapp/Air Force
Gate guard. Sue Sapp/Air Force

For the first time since the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks U.S. Northern Command has upped the threat level to military bases across the country.

Preston Schlachter said the raised level is “not tied to any kind of specific threat,” but does represent a change.

“The sporadic random elevation of our force protection is going to be our new normal,” he told on Friday.

He said base commanders will make their own calls on what they choose to do to increase security.

The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for example, will be closed to all non-Department of Defense identification card holders until further notice. Any visitors to the base will have to be accompanied by authorized personnel with a DoD ID, academy officials said, and visitor access for official events will be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

There are five threat conditions to DoD Force Protection Levels, including Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta.

Normal, which calls for routine security measures, has not been used since the 9/11 attacks, Schlachter said.

Alpha, which has been the standard threat level for the past 15 years, indicates possible terrorist activity.

The NORTHCOM directive on Friday raised the level to Bravo, which indicates “predictable terrorist threat activity exists,” according to the Defense Department’s Terrorist Threat Levels. The last time condition was raised to Bravo was during the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Schlachter said.

Charlie indicates officials have reason to believe terrorist targeting of military personnel and facilities is imminent, while Delta indicates terrorist action is imminent.

-- Bryant Jordan can be reached at

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