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DOD Threatcon Definitions Terrorist Threat Conditions

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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:


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.


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.


This applies when an increased or more predictable threat exists.


Applies when an incident occurs or intelligence indicates some form of threat against personnel and/or facilities is imminent.


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.


This should answer the questions:

What does the acronym threatcon stand for?
How many threatcon levels are there?
Who sets the threatcon level?

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