Maintaining information integrity: Airmen must safeguard classified documents

  • Published
  • By Tyler Hemstreet
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
"Don't get complacent when it comes to classified documents" is the message Air Force officials and the 62nd Security Forces Squadron are stressing when it comes to handling confidential, secret or top secret documents. 

"When you have it in your hand, you have to be aware of what you're doing," said Chris Caseman, a security officer with the 62nd SFS. 

Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander of Air Mobility Command, expressed the same sentiment in a recently released memo. 

"I am extremely concerned about our ability to properly safeguard classified material," General McNabb said. "Any inability to correctly manage and control such documents is not acceptable. As Airmen, we cannot accept anything less than total compliance with existing guidance on management and handling of classified material." 

In situations where Airmen come across classified documents, they are required to protect and safeguard it and call the squadron's security manager, according to Department of Defense regulations. 

Although Airmen who have access to classified information receive annual training from their squadron's security manager, in 2005 there were five security incidents at McChord in which classified documents were mishandled, Mr. Caseman said. 

The reason for the security breaches was complacency, said Mr. Caseman. 

"People get in a hurry to get done and forget to do the end-of-the-day checklist," he said.
The checklist includes thoroughly checking the work area for any classified documents, checking the safe to insure it's not open and recording the check on a checklist. 

Mr. Caseman also suggests keeping the amount of classified documents squadrons have to a minimum and only taking the document out of the safe when it is being used.