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Keeping the mission, Marines safe

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy | Marine Aircraft Group 31 | September 3, 2015

A security manager’s course was held aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Aug. 25-28. The four-day class covered security topics pertaining to informational security, personal security, and industrial security within the Marine Corps.
 The course is offered to security personnel to ensure every unit has Marines trained in the safeguarding of classified information. It is especially important for the military to maintain its security to safeguard its members and the mission.
“The course is a requirement for all security managers that are assigned in writing but we open it up to all security personnel throughout the Marine Corps,” said Christopher Lomen, the information personnel security program training manager for the Marine Corps. “We have assistant security managers, assistant security clerks, security officers, civilians, and active duty that are in the class.”
The course covers more than just security procedures. It also details exactly what role a security manager needs to play in their unit.
“There’s two parts to it,” said Lomen. “One is a leadership overview course which encompasses day one, and then the remainder of the course covers informational security, personnel security and industrial security.”
Representatives from various units aboard the air station attended the course to certify themselves as security managers and sustain their knowledge and skills. Every security manager is required to take the course at least once and are encouraged to attend again as the curriculum evolves.
“I am taking the course so I can help run the Marine Aircraft Group 31 security program and make sure that if I ever get a request for information from the subordinate squadrons, I can help them answer questions as well,” said 1st Lt. Shawn Bunting, the assistant security manager at MAG-31   
Informational security is vital to keeping Marines safe from the moment they begin their service and throughout their whole careers.
Throughout the Marine Corps, it is required to have a certain level of investigation and vetting before giving access to classified material,  said Lomen.
“We have to know how to protect our information and make sure people’s clearances are up to date so we don’t have insider threats trying to steal information or even try to hurt Marines,” said Bunting.  
One of the reasons security personnel are present in every unit in the Marine Corps is to make sure no threats emerge from inside.
“These individuals have the opportunity to identify and deter insider threat issues utilizing some of the same programs that we already have like continuous evaluation and the force preservation council,” said Lomen. “It also helps to make sure everyone maintains their clearance eligibility so they can access classified information and assume greater duties and responsibilities to possibly be able to transition over into different jobs.”
The course curriculum is constantly changing and evolving to stay up to date with current security issues. The recent violence aboard military installations has caused security to be heightened around the Marine Corps.
“We are taking a lot of the old information and revamping it and adjusting it to new current ideas based on recent events like the Washington Navy Yard shooting and Chattanooga,” said Lomen. “Each iteration of the course gets a little more refined and a little bit more updated.”
 The course is open for all Marines and Department of Defense civilians. Every service member holding a security billet is required to receive the training.
“It’s a one-time deal,” said Lomen. “They attend the course and receive their certification and then they maintain it so if they have to move on to another unit, they already have the certification required.”
Security is important for all units in the Marine Corps. Safeguarding classified information helps protect Marines and their operations.