DOD Threatcon Definitions
The nature and degree of the terrorist threat to the military services vary
widely with geographical location, criticality, vulnerability of the
target and level of hostile intent and capability.
The terrorist threat conditions (THREATCON) system is mandated by Department of
Defense directive. It describes progressive levels of security measures
in response to terrorist threats to Military personnel and facilities.
The THREATCON system is the baseline and foundation for development of all force protection plans and orders.
Declaration of a particular terrorist THREATCON and implementation of appropriate
security and protective measures may be decreed by higher headquarters
(Department of the Army, Military District of Washington), or the
garrison commander following receipt of intelligence through official
sources or following an anonymous threat.
There are five terrorist Threat Conditions as follows:
THREATCON NORMAL. Local security measures designed for implementation when there
is no credible threat of terrorist activity. Under these conditions,
only a routine security posture designed to defeat the routine criminal
threat is warranted.
THREATCON ALPHA. This applies when there is a general threat activity against personnel and/or installations, the
nature and extent of which is unpredictable, and circumstances do not
justify full implementation of THREATCON BRAVO.
THREATCON BRAVO. This applies when an increased or more predictable threat exists.
THREATCON CHARLIE. Applies when an incident occurs or intelligence indicates some
form of threat against personnel and/or facilities is imminent.
THREATCON DELTA. Implementation applies in immediate area where a threat attack
has occurred or when intelligence indicates terrorist action in a
specific location is likely. Implementation of THREATCON DELTA normally
occurs for only limited periods of time over specified, localized areas.
The decision to implement a particular THREATCON is a command decision. It
is based on an assessment of the terrorist threat, vulnerability of
personnel or facilities, criticality of personnel or facilities,
availability of security resources, impact on operations and morale,
damage control considerations, international relations and the potential
for U.S. government actions to trigger a terrorist response.