Applied Knowledge

Lessons to Learn: Pakistan and Afghanistan

These last two months have seen numerous VBIED, MBIED, and assault weapon attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  What knowledge can we, as an industry, take away from these events? 

There are several similarities and patterns that can be seen from a review of the attacks:

  • Coordinated attacks on more than one target
  • Use of official uniforms or vehicles to get closer to targets
  • Repeat attacks on previous targets or target types
  • Multi-attack-mode events

 The following is a list of Lessons to Learn generated from these similarities and patterns,

  • Response Plan:  Ensure that response plans, especially in major municipalities or in high target density areas, address actions to take in the event of multiple, simultaneous, attacks.
  • Official Uniforms and Vehicles:  Security and accountability of uniforms and official vehicles is now more important than ever and policies and procedures should be reviewed and enforced.  This should include implementing an effective mechanism to inform building owners, security personnel, and responders when these items have been stolen or otherwise compromised.
  • Protective design should take multiple attack modes into consideration when possible.  Just as blast resistant windows can provide some measure of hurricane resistance, protective design measures may be able to perform multiple functions when implemented with this in mind.  Some perimeter vehicle barriers can not only provide anti-ram resistance, but also blast resistance (thereby decreasing secondary debris), ballistic resistance and obscuration from off-site surveillance.  If the full array of protective requirements is considered at the beginning of a project, individual protective design elements may be able to serve multiple purposes.

Vehicle Barriers Testing: Default Standard for US

Vendors and owners used to rely on the Department of State Anti-ram barrier test standards and certification – but they are no longer going to update their lists or issue letters of certification. The new de-facto default standard for the United States market looks like it will be the ASTM F2656.

New DoD Unified Facilities Criteria Document

New DoD criteria document:  For people who work on DoD building design NEW UFC 3-701-09 DoD Facilities Pricing Guide provides pricing models for array of facility types.  The document is intended for planning purposes ( not individual facilities/ project estimates) but is great for rule of thumb.  It includes ncludes models for reserve centers, medical facilities, instruction buildings, and Antiterrorism Factors for Minimum Requirements (does not include enhanced or factors for reduced standoff or heightened threats).