Big Brother's watching ... and protecting

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- It's kind of like the novel "1984." Big Brother really is watching ... but this time, he's helping to keep the members of Osan safe.

The high-tech Integrated Base Defense Security System is a suite of intrusion detection sensors which uses specialized equipment to survey both the base security zone and interior of Osan. Using IBDSS gives the base better security options by reducing the number of Defenders standing post in a fighting position and increasing the number of mobile patrols for a faster response to threats. If an infiltration is detected by any of the several sensors along the base's perimeter, an alert is relayed to the Combined Defense Operations Center.

From the CDOC, a highly-trained sensor operator can use Wide-area Surveillance Thermal Imaging cameras to quickly locate and track the intruder. These cameras have the ability to detect an intruder's body heat, allowing the Defenders in the CDOC to deploy security response teams with overwhelming firepower straight to the source of trouble. The cameras can even be effective enough to allow operators to identify a person's uniform and equipment assisting in the determination of friend from foe.

The IBDSS combination gives the CDOC operational capabilities similar to a Predator Unmanned Ariel Vehicle, only stationary. And it has proven to be an asset to security.

"During Exercise Beverly Bulldog 06-03, several opposing forces teams attempted to assault wing headquarters," said 1st Lt. Jonathon Murray, Integrated Base Defense Officer. "Our system was able to detect each of their infiltration attempts."

The CDOC sensor operators were able to provide early detection which allowed Security Forces to deploy, engage and defeat each of the OPFOR teams.

According to Senior Airman James Derouen, 51st Security Forces Squadron Sensors Administrator, there are about 60 Airmen certified as CDOC sensor operators.

"We have the capability here at Osan to conduct thorough training, certification and ensure that Defenders are up-to-speed on the latest upgrades," said Senior Airman Derouen.

Having the ability to train members of Team Osan on station saves the Air Force money since they don't have to send them TDY to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas for training. The training consists of classroom and hands-on instruction lasting 10-days.

The security coverage provided by this vast array of equipment is similar to that used at expeditionary bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The infrared cameras are so sensitive, they can detect a field mouse," said Senior Airman Derouen. "This gives us a real advantage to detect threats earlier and react faster and more decisively."