Hostage Situations (Sept 2011)

Oklahoma Air National Guard, Tulsa OK -- This months "Sooner's On Guard" Antiterrorism and Force Protection tips are things you can do to prepare your family should you be kidnapped or taken hostage. Take the time to read and employ these tips to increase your safety and security.

Family Responsibilities
- Have your family affairs in order, including an up-to-date Will & Powers of Attorney, and measures taken to ensure family financial security.
- Issues such as continuing the children's education, family relocation, and disposition of property should be discussed with family members.
- Your family should know that talking about your military affiliation to non-DOD people may place you, or them, in great danger.
- They must be convinced the US government will work to obtain your safe release.
- And finally, your family should not be depressed if negotiation efforts appear to be taking a long time. Remember, your chances of survival actually increase with time.

Keep these tips in mind to keep your family's peace of mind

Hostage Survival

It is unlikely you'll ever be taken captive; but if the unlikely does occur, remember the following:
- Stay in control. Regain your composure as soon as possible and face your fears. Your captors are as nervous as you are, so what you do is important.
- Do not irritate your abductors. Develop a positive relationship and portray yourself as a human being deserving respect.
-- This will ease your own burden and can result in better treatment.
-- If your captors come to regard you in this light, it will be more difficult to mistreat you. Share photos or mementos that will reinforce your human qualities.
- Stay active. Exercise daily, read anything and everything, write if permitted, and establish some form of routine lending normalcy to your daily living. Eat what is offered. Maintain your strength and health.
- If interrogated, adopt a simple, tenable position and stick to it.
- Be polite, give short answers, talk freely about unimportant matters, but guarded when subjects become sensitive.
- If your captors wish to photograph you, let them. This will confirm you are alive and give some idea of your condition.

Should a rescue attempt be made, drop to the floor and remain there. Do whatever your rescuers tell you to do. If released, and others remain behind, bear in mind derogatory remarks may make things harder for those still held hostage. Any escape attempt should be made only after careful consideration of the risks, chances of success, and detrimental effects on detainees left behind.

These tips and other important information are located in the CJCS Guide 5260, Service Member's Personal Protection Guide. Further information about Antiterrorism can be accessed on-line.

Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov
MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base: http://www.tkb.org

REMEMBER: Antiterrorism and Force Protection is EVERYONE'S job.