U.S. military bases in Europe ordered to step up security

Posted at 9:53 AM, Jan 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-22 09:53:18-05

(CNN) — All U.S. military bases in Europe were ordered Tuesday to institute additional security measures in the wake of the attacks in Paris and arrests in Belgium and continuing intelligence that foreign fighters are returning to Europe.

“U.S. European Command directed its component commands to implement additional force protection measures and random security enhancements at facilities across the EUCOM area of responsibility,” Captain Gregory Hicks, EUCOM spokesman told CNN on Thursday.

Hicks said the measures were “prudent” given the threat, but he would not specify the exact steps being taken. The additional measures will cover 90,000 people working for the command including 67,000 active duty troops. Generally these types of security measures include conducting more physical checks of people and vehicles coming into bases, and potentially restricting off base activities. Troops have already been cautioned not to wear their uniforms off base and ensure the privacy of their social media accounts.

Security awareness has been heightened in recent months since ISIS has threatened to attack U.S. troops. But in the wake of Paris “There is evidence of other of other events in our theatre that shows the severity of the terrorist threat out there,” a U.S. military official with direct knowledge of the intelligence told CNN. Officials insists there is no specific imminent threat but rather growing concern.

“EUCOM has taken this step based on our firm commitment to make every possible effort to ensure the safety and security of our service members, civilians, their families, and our facilities,” Hicks said. The order to increase security came from General Philip Breedlove.

Breedlove also serves as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, which is headquartered in Belgium. He has regularly been briefed on the anti-terrorism actions being taken by authorities in that country.