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Chapter 12

Force Protection

There is no more important responsibility than force protection. It is an inherent command responsibility and must be fully integrated into every unit's mission. A commander must continually review his unit's force-protection posture and crosswalk it with current and changing policy and threat levels. Force protection demands the personal involvement of commanders to ensure the best possible security consistent with the threat to personnel and mission-essential resources.
AR 525-13
Force protection consists of those actions that prevent or mitigate hostile actions against DOD personnel (to include family members), resources, facilities, and critical information. It coordinates and synchronizes offensive and defensive measures to enable the joint force to perform while degrading opportunities for the enemy. It includes air, space, and missile defense; NBC defense; antiterrorism; defensive-information operations; and security to operational forces and means.


12-1. The MP contribute significantly to the Army's overall force-protection effort. They are directly responsible for executing certain security-related measures (law enforcement and physical security) and for providing support to others (HRP security and antiterrorism), all of which contribute to force protection. Commanders use the Army's risk-management methodology and established security programs and capabilities within US forces to help prioritize and implement force-protection measures.


12-2. MP support to force protection is accomplished under the leadership of the respective command's PM. It is accomplished mainly through an active role in physical security, HRP security, law enforcement, and antiterrorism.


12-3. Physical security is an integral part of security of forces and means. Physical-security measures deter, detect, and defend against threats from terrorists, criminals, and unconventional forces. These measures include-

  • Fencing and perimeter standoff space.
  • Lighting and sensors.
  • Vehicle barriers.
  • Blast protection.
  • Intrusion-detection systems and electronic surveillance.
  • Procedural measures such as security checks, training and awareness, property accountability/inventory requirements, physical-security inspections of mission-essential or vulnerable areas (MEVAs), and physical-security surveys of installations.

12-4. These physical-security measures are not exclusively peacetime measures. They are designed to protect US personnel and equipment regardless of the mission or the geographical location.

12-5. The MP support the commander's security of forces and means programs by-

  • Controlling or monitoring installation, base, or base-cluster access or entrance points.
  • Monitoring intrusion-detection systems and providing a response force.
  • Conducting physical-security inspections.
  • Conducting perimeter security or site surveillance.
  • Recommending the placement of walls, berms, gates, or barriers around designated MEVAs, high-value areas, or perimeters.
  • Supporting the commander's risk-analysis effort.
  • Conducting roving patrols, checkpoints, or roadblocks.
  • Performing other physical-security measures as required by the commander.


12-6. The HRP security program provides additional security to designated individuals (and their families) whom by virtue of their rank, assignment, symbolic value, vulnerabilities, or location or a specific threat are at a greater risk than the general population. This security program is applicable across the full spectrum of military operations.

12-7. The MP support the commander's HRP security measures by-

  • Conducting protective-service details for HRP (normally conducted by USACIDC special agents).
  • Responding to duress alarms and intrusion-detection systems.
  • Conducting a PSVA (performed by the USACIDC).
  • Employing MWDs.
  • Coordinating with local, state, and federal agencies as well as joint, multinational, and HN law-enforcement agencies.
  • Performing other HRP security measures as required by the commander.


12-8. The Army's law-enforcement program supports the security of forces and means through the prevention, detection, response, and investigation of crimes. The MP, the USACIDC, and DOD police play a crucial role in the law-enforcement program. They provide a visible deterrent against a broad portion of the threat spectrum, investigate crimes, and provide an initial response force to threat incidents. As with the previous programs, the law-enforcement program is applicable anywhere across the spectrum of military operations.

12-9. The MP support law-enforcement operations by-

  • Providing liaison teams with local, state, and federal agencies; HN police; and joint and multinational agencies.
  • Employing SRTs and hostage-negotiation teams (normally provided by the USACIDC).
  • Providing traffic enforcement, MSR regulation enforcement, and other route-control measures.
  • Employing MWDs.
  • Conducting MP investigations (criminal and noncriminal).
  • Conducting patrolling, AS, and surveillance measures.
  • Implementing applicable threat-condition (THREATCON) measures.
  • Conducting and implementing other law-enforcement measures as required by the commander.

12-10. Terrorism is characterized as the unlawful use of violence or the threat of violence to coerce or intimidate a government or a society. Protection against a terrorist threat requires both an offensive counterterrorism capability and a defensive antiterrorism program. The primary focus of antiterrorism is on training and awareness and thorough planning. Antiterrorism is not a stand-alone program. It leverages other force-protection-related programs (such as physical security and law enforcement) to provide much of the physical defense against terrorism.

12-11. The MP support the commander's antiterrorist program by-

  • Collecting CRIMINTEL (within the limits of AR 190-45).
  • Responding to terrorist threats and incidents.
  • Performing aggressive patrols and R&S operations.
  • Detecting suspicious activities.
  • Enforcing joint and cooperative agreements with the FBI, the USACIDC, MI, and other pertinent agencies (home or abroad).
  • Conducting information collection and dissemination.
  • Protecting critical assets, facilities, and personnel.
  • Performing other antiterrorism measures as required by the commander.

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