Return to Contents


PREFACE

Three days after the attack on the servicemen and women of Khobar Towers, Secretary of Defense Perry appointed me to head a team to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the June 25, 1996 bomb attack. In the far reaching Charter, the Secretary of Defense directed me to assess the extent to which the casualties and damage sustained were the result of inadequate security policies, infrastructures, or systems. The Secretary also asked the team to recommend measures to minimize casualties and damage from such attacks in the future.

Within 24 hours of receipt of the Charter, a Task Force began to form comprising officers, noncommissioned officers, DOD civilians and retirees from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines from throughout the country. Representatives from the Department of State, Department of Energy, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were also included. Each brought special expertise to the Task Force. This dedicated team completed its work 60 days later.

During its assessment, the Task Force interviewed over 400 servicemen and women; assessed 36 sites; visited every major headquarters involved; talked to the entire chain of command from the Commander-in-Chief to the sentry on the roof, and analyzed thousands of documents. This huge task was eased by the cooperation of every level of the chain of command and of the agencies involved. All recognized the importance of the Task Force mission to the future security of U.S. forces deployed overseas.

The terrorist threat to U.S. military forces is real. Opponents of U.S. policy cannot engage the United States directly, but can employ terrorism to conduct strategic attacks against U.S. servicemen and women deployed in foreign countries. This threat can only be countered through concerted efforts at all levels to plan, prepare, and enforce force protection measures. Our vulnerabilities can be overcome. It will take energy, command attention, and resources. This Report recommends directions for these efforts.

WAD


TABLE OF CONTENTS

VOLUME I: FORCE PROTECTION ASSESSMENT OF THE USCENTCOM AOR AND KHOBAR TOWERS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
v
ABSTRACT OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
x
INTRODUCTION
1
CHARTER: ASSESSMENT OF THE KHOBAR TOWERS BOMBING
1
METHODOLOGY OF THE ASSESSMENT TASK FORCE
3
PART I: BACKGROUND
6
PART II: ADEQUACY OF SECURITY POLICIES, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND SYSTEMS IN THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY
10
DoD PHYSICAL SECURITY STANDARDS FOR FORCE PROTECTION
Finding 1
10
DoD FUNDING AND RESOURCES FOR FORCE PROTECTION
Finding 2
14
DoD REVIEW OF JOINT TASK FORCES
Finding 3
15
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND COMMAND RELATIONSHIPS
Finding 4
20
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND SECURITY POLICIES
24
FORCE PROTECTION PRACTICES
Finding 5
24
TRAINING AND EDUCATION POLICIES
Finding 6
26
SUFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF INTELLIGENCE IN THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY
28
WARNING OF THE TERRORIST THREAT
Finding 7
28
INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION
Finding 8 [Classified]
29
INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS
Finding 9
29
THREAT LEVEL ASSESSMENTS
Finding 10
30
INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO SECURITY POLICE
Finding 11
32
COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SUPPORT
Finding 12 [Classified]
33
U.S. AND SAUDI COOPERATION ON INFORMATION EXCHANGE
Finding 13 [Classified]
33
COMMUNICATIONS ARCHITECTURE TO SUPPORT INTELLIGENCE
Finding 14
33
CLARITY OF THE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECURITY BETWEEN HOST NATIONS AND U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
Finding 15
34
DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OVERSEAS SECURITY IN THE REGION
Finding 16
35
SECURITY OF U.S. FORCES AND FACILITIES IN THE REGION
Finding 17
39
PART III: FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE BOMBING ATTACK ON KHOBAR TOWERS
43
INTELLIGENCE WARNING OF ATTACK ON KHOBAR TOWERS
Finding 18
43
FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE BOMBING 45
THE CHAIN OF COMMAND
Finding 19
45
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SECURITY OF KHOBAR TOWERS
Finding 20
49
ADEQUACY OF FUNDING AND RESOURCES FOR FORCE PROTECTION
Finding 21
59
SAUDI RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECURITY OF KHOBAR TOWERS
Finding 22
60
POST-ATTACK MEDICAL CARE AT KHOBAR TOWERS
Finding 23
Finding 24 [Classified]
61
63
PART IV. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMPROVING SECURITY IN THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY AND OTHER OVERSEAS LOCATIONS
64
APPLICATION OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO FORCE PROTECTION
Finding 25
64
ALLIED FORCE PROTECTION EFFORTS
Finding 26
65

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On June 25, 1996, a terrorist truck bomb estimated to contain the equivalent of 3,000 to 8,000 pounds of TNT exploded outside the northern perimeter of Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, a facility housing U.S. and allied forces supporting the coalition air operation over Iraq, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. There were 19 fatalities and approximately 500 wounded. The perpetrators escaped.

This bomb attack marked the second terrorist strike at U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia within eight months. On November 13, 1995, a 220-pound car bomb exploded in a parking lot adjacent to an office building housing the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard in Riyadh, causing five U.S. and two Indian fatalities. A Department of State Accountability Review Board investigated this attack and made recommendations to improve U.S. security in the region. The DoD also conducted a Department-wide review of antiterrorism readiness following the November 1995 bombing. The Antiterrorism Task Force report made recommendations concerning enhancements to the security posture of deployed forces, education and training, intelligence sharing, and interagency coordination. The Department of State recommendations were being addressed, and the DoD actions were approved and being implemented at the time of the second bombing.

The United States has strategic interests in maintaining a force presence in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region and in conducting coalition military operations to contain regional aggression. Consequently, the security of U.S. Central Command forces is paramount. On June 28, 1996, the Secretary of Defense directed an assessment of both the facts and circumstances surrounding the attack on Khobar Towers and the security of U.S. forces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the remainder of southwest Asia.

CHARTER: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE KHOBAR TOWERS BOMBING. The Secretary of Defense appointed General Wayne Downing, the retired Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Special Operations Command, to conduct the assessment of the Khobar Towers bombing. General Downing was directed to assemble a Task Force and assess the following areas:



The Charter emphasized that the assessment was "...not a criminal investigation." It granted General Downing and his Task Force access to all information pertinent to the assessment and charged them to visit such places as the Director deemed necessary to accomplish his objectives. General Downing assembled a joint service Task Force composed of diverse disciplines to address all areas of the assessment. The Task Force included active and retired military persons, DoD civilians, and representatives from multiple U.S. Government agencies, including the State Department, Department of Energy, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The team included experts in intelligence, terrorism, force protection and antiterrorism, physical security, operations security, explosives, programming and budgeting, command relationships, training and education, medical matters, and the southwest Asia region. Lieutenant General James Clapper, U.S. Air Force (Retired), former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, headed the intelligence assessment for the Task Force.

METHODOLOGY OF THE ASSESSMENT TASK FORCE. The Downing Task Force undertook the assessment in two distinct phases. Phase I comprised research and analysis of previous reports, documents, policies, assessments, statutes, directives, instructions, and regulations relevant to force protection in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. In Phase II, the Task Force conducted on-site assessments of security and detailed interviews with commanders, staff, and servicemen and women at all levels involved in security at Khobar Towers and other U.S. military facilities in southwest Asia. The Task Force began its assessment at Headquarters, U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base and at Eglin and Patrick Air Force Bases, the home stations of service members at Khobar Towers at the time of the bombing. The Task Force then proceeded to Riyadh and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia where the preponderance of the assessment effort was concentrated. The Task Force examined force protection in Dhahran, Riyadh, and Jeddah. General Downing met with Saudi officials to discuss their understanding of responsibilities for force protection of U.S. forces. The Task Force then visited Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt and talked with U.S. and host country representatives. Recommendations for immediate actions to improve security were provided to commanders at each location. In all, the Task Force visited 36 sites and conducted over 400 interviews from the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command to individual soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen stationed throughout southwest Asia. Finally, General Downing and three other Task Force members visited Israel, Jordan, France and the United Kingdom to discuss force protection issues with antiterrorism experts in those countries.

TERRORISM -- AN UNDECLARED WAR AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. The military forces of the United States are currently superior to all others in the world. Convinced of the futility of challenging our forces directly, some enemies are waging war against us asymmetrically. Some of these enemies believe that our greatest vulnerability is the American intolerance for casualties in the pursuit of objectives that often do not have an apparent direct link to vital national objectives. A small number of potential enemies have selected terror as a faceless, low-risk, high-payoff strategy that the United States' political system finds difficult to counter.

Terrorism then is a form of warfare. Sometimes labeled the "weapon of the weak," it is nevertheless a powerful strategy. It provides our opponents a force projection capability that far exceeds their conventional military means. If the nation proves incapable of responding to terrorism, it will continue to be a threat to the United States.

MAJOR FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DOWNING ASSESSMENT TASK FORCE. Parts II through IV of the Report contain 26 detailed findings from the assessments of U.S. military facilities at Khobar Towers, other locations in Saudi Arabia, and representative countries in southwest Asia. Seventy-nine recommendations have been provided to assist in the resolution of identified issues. Findings and recommendations requiring immediate remedial action related to force protection were provided to commanders at each location.

The Task Force could not survey all locations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility within the time frame of this Report. These include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Oman, Sudan, and Yemen. The Task Force had only a limited opportunity to assess force protection in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain. A follow-on assessment team should conduct a more in-depth survey of all sites throughout the region.

A Comprehensive Approach to Force Protection is Required. The Assessment Task Force recommended that the Department of Defense take a range of actions to deter, prevent, or mitigate the effects of future terrorist attacks on servicemen and women overseas. None will -- in and of themselves -- provide an environment secure from all potential threats. However, the Task Force strongly believes that to assure an acceptable level of security for U.S. forces worldwide, commanders must aggressively pursue an integrated systems approach to force protection that combines awareness and training, physical security measures, advanced technology systems, and specific protection measures tailored to each location. A comprehensive approach using common guidance, standards, and procedures will correct the inconsistent force protection practices observed in the theater. The Task Force believes that the designation of a single Department of Defense element responsible for force protection, to include antiterrorism and counterterrorism, is required. This entity would have policy, resource, and research and development responsibilities, as well as a capability to assist commanders in the field with implementation of force protection measures.

DoD Must Establish Force Protection Standards. The Department of Defense must establish realistic standards for force protection that provide commanders and staff guidance for construction and hardening of facilities and other overseas sites against the terrorist threat. Basically, the Department of Defense uses State Department standards for physical security. For the threat level, Building 131 at Khobar Towers required no stand-off distance from the perimeter according to State Department standards. Actionable standards will allow commanders to plan and program for the appropriate resources to protect troops and installations. While all U.S. commanders in the Gulf thought they had sufficient resources for force protection, they were not knowledgeable of technologies to enhance protection or how to develop an integrated systems approach to security. Consequently, they underestimated true requirements.

U.S. Central Command Requires an Empowered Chain of Command in the Region. The Joint chain of command must have the authority to execute force protection measures. The command relationships in the Gulf were designed to support a short term contingency operation, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, and enhance the transition of U.S. Central Command to war. The retention of operational control of forces in the theater by service component headquarters located over 7,000 miles away and the assignment of tactical control and oversight to a small, functional Joint Task Force headquarters located in the theater did not support the intensive, day-to-day command attention required to ensure force protection of service members assigned to the Command. The issue of inadequate organization and structure of Joint Task Force Headquarters for peacetime command and control was addressed in the assessment of the Joint Task Force-PROVIDE COMFORT following the shoot-down of two U.S. Army helicopters by U.S. Air Force F-15s in April 1994. The DoD must clarify command relationships in U.S. Central Command to ensure that all commanders have the requisite authority to accomplish their assigned responsibilities. Further, review of temporary Joint Task Force organization and structure must occur frequently to allow adaptation to changing threats and missions.

Command Emphasis on and Involvement in Force Protection Are Crucial. While committees at all levels in the theater and in the United States were active in discussing force protection policies and practices, this did not contribute materially to the security of military people and facilities. Committees are not effective without the emphasis and personal attention of commanders. In part, the inconsistent, and sometimes inadequate, force protection practices among service forces, joint headquarters, and different countries resulted from insufficient command involvement.

The Intelligence Community Provided Warning of the Potential for a Terrorist Attack. U.S. intelligence did not predict the precise attack on Khobar Towers. Commanders did have warning that the terrorist threat to U.S. service members and facilities was increasing. DoD elements in the theater had the authority, but were not exploiting all potential sources of information. Human intelligence (HUMINT) is probably the only source of information that can provide tactical details of a terrorist attack. The U.S. intelligence community must have the requisite authorities and invest more time, people, and funds into developing HUMINT against the terrorist threat.

The Chain of Command Was Responsible for Protecting the Forces at Khobar Towers. The chain of command of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) did not take all measures possible to protect the forces at Khobar Towers. The command relationships established in the region did not support unity of effort in force protection. There were no force protection or training standards provided by U.S. Central Command to forces assigned or deploying to the theater. The rotation and manning policies established by the U.S. Air Force did not support complete, cohesive units, especially Security Police, who were capable of coping with a viable terrorist threat. The Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional) focused the force protection efforts of the command on preventing a bomb from penetrating the compound at Khobar Towers. Other vulnerabilities were not addressed adequately. Intelligence indicated that Khobar Towers was a potential terrorist target, and incidents from April through June 1996 reflected possible surveillance of the facility. Combined with the November 1995 attack in Riyadh, this should have triggered enhanced force protection measures, regardless of their impact on workload or quality of life. The 4404th Wing commander was ill-served by the intelligence arrangement within his command which focused almost exclusively on the air threat for Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. His senior headquarters, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and U.S. Central Command, did not provide sufficient guidance, assistance, and oversight to the 4404th Wing (Provisional) to avert or mitigate the attack on Khobar Towers. Their location 7,000 miles away contributed to this shortcoming. Placing all forces in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region under the command of a single commander in the theater will help resolve the force protection problems identified during the Task Force assessment.

Host Nations Share in the Responsibility for Force Protection. Host nations have responsibility for the security of U.S. service members and installations in their country. The option of locating forces in isolated areas may not always exist. U.S. commanders and staffs must appreciate the importance of positive, working relationships with their host nation counterparts for force protection. Through these relationships, they can influence selection of locations of installations, allocation of host nation guard forces and priorities, and enhancement of host nation security as threat conditions escalate.

Department of State/Department of Defense Division of Responsibility Does Not Provide U.S. Forces Adequate Force Protection. The division of responsibility for force protection in the Department of State and the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding does not adequately support U.S. forces in countries with a large military presence. In Saudi Arabia, the Chief of Mission did not have sufficient resources to fully execute the force protection mission. Further, not all forces were under the Chief of Mission or combatant commander, creating a seam where certain units did not benefit from active oversight. The Secretary of Defense has the authority to assign forces to the combatant commander to redress this shortfall.

During its visits, the Task Force was impressed with the magnificent work being performed by Americans throughout the region. The 4404th Wing (Provisional) was especially notable. The reaction of these men and women to the bombing on the night of June 25th saved many lives. The care accorded to the more than 500 injured by both their comrades and U.S. and Saudi medical teams was remarkable. The Wing reconstituted and began flying combat missions over Iraq within 48 hours of the tragedy, a testament to the professionalism and fortitude we observed throughout the command. This same quality and professionalism were evident in the men and women of all services everywhere we visited in southwest Asia.

The Report contains detailed discussion of these and other issues. It provides recommendations to resolve each. The Task Force has deliberately not recommended further study of issues, but suggested actions to address vulnerabilities to terrorist acts in both the short and long term. Given the security practices found in the theater, measures to improve physical security, tailored for each site, should have a high priority.


ABSTRACT OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE ASSESSMENT OF THE KHOBAR TOWERS BOMBING

The Findings and Recommendations of the Assessment Task Force are extracted from the Report and presented here in summary format to assist the reader in obtaining an overview of the Assessment and in identifying specific areas of interest. Detailed explanations of each Finding and Recommendation are contained in the basic Report which follows.

DoD PHYSICAL SECURITY STANDARDS FOR FORCE PROTECTION

FINDING 1: There are no published DoD physical security standards for force protection of fixed facilities.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 1:

Establish prescriptive DoD physical security standards.

Designate a single agency within DoD to develop, issue, and inspect compliance with force protection physical security standards.

Provide this DoD agency with sufficient resources to assist field commanders on a worldwide basis with force protection matters. Consider designating an existing organization, such as a national laboratory, Defense Special Weapons Agency, or the Corps of Engineers, to provide this expertise.

Provide funds and authority to this agency to manage Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) efforts to enhance force protection and physical security measures.

DoD FUNDING AND RESOURCES FOR FORCE PROTECTION

FINDING 2: Force protection requirements had not been given high priority for funding.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 2:

Establish priorities for force protection requirements in the Defense Planning Guidance and, as recommended by the Antiterrorism Task Force report, include force protection as a Defense-wide special interest item.

Coordinate DoD priorities for force protection of noncombatant forces with the Department of State (See Finding 16).

Address force protection in the Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment (JWCA) process.

Implement the recommendations of the Antiterrorism Task Force on establishment of a separate Office of the Secretary of Defense-managed program element to fund high priority antiterrorism requirements.

Encourage combatant commanders to articulate and prioritize force protection requirements in their Integrated Priorities List.

DoD REVIEW OF JOINT TASK FORCES

FINDING 3: Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and other U.S. Central Command units in the region were not structured and supported to sustain a long-term commitment that involved expanded missions, to include increased force protection from an emerging and viable terrorist threat.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 3:

Review the composition of Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia and other U.S. Central Command units to insure that they are structured and have resources appropriate for the mission and the conditions.

Review current manning and rotation policies, to include tour lengths for key leaders and staff, with the aim of promoting continuity in the chain of command and unit cohesion.

U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND COMMAND RELATIONSHIPS

FINDING 4: Current U.S. Central Command command relationships do not contribute to enhanced security for forces operating in the region.

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINDING 4: Assign operational control of all combatant forces operating in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region to one headquarters.

U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND SECURITY POLICIES

FORCE PROTECTION PRACTICES

FINDING 5: Force protection practices were inconsistent in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf region.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 5:

Develop common guidance, procedures, and standards to protect the force. Assigning operational control of all combatant forces to one headquarters (Finding 4) will facilitate a common approach.

Closely coordinate all antiterrorism countermeasures with host country agencies.

TRAINING AND EDUCATION POLICIES

FINDING 6: There is no theater-specific training guidance for individuals or units deploying to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 6:

Establish training qualification and certification procedures for all units, individuals, and civilians prior to deployment to and after arrival in the Area of Responsibility. This should include force protection measures and be applicable to service members on both permanent change of station and temporary duty assignment.

Conduct mandatory force protection and risk management training for all officers and senior noncommissioned officers deploying to high threat areas. Integrate this training into officer and noncommissioned officer professional military education to assure long-term development of knowledge and skills to combat terrorism at all levels.

Support development of antiterrorism training and education supporting materials, using innovative media methodologies, as recommended by the Antiterrorism Task Force and directed by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Conduct refresher training for installation/unit antiterrorism officers immediately prior to assignment in the theater, as outlined in DoD Instruction 2000.14.

SUFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF INTELLIGENCE

IN THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY

WARNING OF THE TERRORIST THREAT

FINDING 7: Intelligence provided warning of the terrorist threat to U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia.

INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION

FINDING 8: This finding and its recomendation are classified in their entirety.

INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS

FINDING 9: The ability of the theater and national intelligence community to conduct in-depth, long term analysis of trends, intentions and capabilities of terrorists is deficient.

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINDING 9: Allocate sufficient analytic resources to conduct in-depth, detailed analysis of trends, intentions, and capabilities of terrorists.

THREAT LEVEL ASSESSMENTS

FINDING 10: The Department of State and elements within the DoD ascribe different Threat Level assessments for countries of the same region, causing confusion among recipients of this information.

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINDING 10: Institute one interagency methodology for assessing and declaring terrorist Threat Levels, allowing commanders to determine Threat Conditions in a local area.

INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO SECURITY POLICE

FINDING 11: The lack of an organic intelligence support capability in U.S. Air Force Security Police units adversely affects their ability to accomplish the base defense mission.

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINDING 11: Provide U.S. Air Force Security Police units assigned an air base defense mission an organic intelligence capability.

COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SUPPORT

FINDING 12: This finding and its recommendation are classified in their entirety.

U.S. AND SAUDI COOPERATION ON INFORMATION EXCHANGE

FINDING 13: This finding is classified in its entirety (there was no recommendation for this finding).

COMMUNICATIONS ARCHITECTURE TO SUPPORT INTELLIGENCE

FINDING 14: While the communications architecture in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility supported the flow of intelligence throughout the upper echelons of the chain of command, field units had limited access due to classification restrictions.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 14:

Make collateral communication systems available to the lowest appropriate level.

Distribute appropriate information to all key force protection officials, as well as coalition partners.

CLARITY OF THE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECURITY

BETWEEN HOST NATIONS AND U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND

FINDING 15: The division of responsibility between U.S. and host nation police and military forces for security at facilities throughout Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf is clear.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 15:

Promulgate memorandums of understanding (MOU) between host nation and U.S. forces, delineating responsibilities for protecting U.S. operated facilities, to include procedures for upgrading security when Threat Levels change.

Increase the number of interpreters available to security forces.

DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OVERSEAS SECURITY IN THE REGION

FINDING 16: (a) U.S. Embassy security resources are insufficient to adequately protect large numbers of noncombatant military forces in selected countries.

(b) The U.S. Defense Representative has insufficient resources to adequately protect large numbers of noncombatant military forces in selected countries.

(c) The U.S. Defense Representative does not have directive authority over selected "stovepipe" organizations.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 16:

Assign all DoD personnel to the unified combatant commander, except those whose principal function supports the Chief of Mission.

Provide the U.S. Defense Representative directive authority for force protection matters over ALL DoD personnel not assigned to the unified combatant commander.

Provide the U.S. Defense Representative with appropriate staff to assist the Chief of Mission in the execution of force protection responsibilities, to include conducting vulnerability assessments, identifying funds for force protection, and developing force protection standards.

SECURITY OF U.S. FORCES AND FACILITIES IN THE REGION

FINDING 17: U.S. forces and facilities in Saudi Arabia and the region are vulnerable to terrorist attack.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 17:

GENERAL SECURITY

Conduct vulnerability assessments for every site within the Area of Responsibility and repeat them on an appropriate schedule. Each site must be examined individually and in-depth.

Locate facilities in secluded areas, wherever possible.

Assign all security force members a weapon. Rifles and machine guns must be zeroed and fired for sustainment training. Identify special weapons requirements early and train to meet requirements. Stress weapons maintenance.

Examine and prioritize terrorist threats for both potential of occurrence and degree of vulnerability at each site. Prepare defenses accordingly.

Coordinate with host nation police and military forces to develop and maintain a combined ability to counter the surface-to-air missile threat from terrorist elements.

PHYSICAL SECURITY

Employ integrated technology, including intrusion detection systems, ground sensors, closed circuit television, day and night surveillance cameras, thermal imaging, perimeter lighting, and advanced communication equipment, to improve the security of all sites.

Employ technology-based explosive detection and countermeasure devices.

Physically harden structures based on the threat.

Develop guidance on required stand-off distances and the construction of blast walls and the hardening of buildings.

Relocate and consolidate units at vulnerable facilities to more secure, U.S.-controlled compounds or bases.

Reinforce the entry control points to U.S. facilities and provide defense in depth.

Cable single rows of Jersey barriers together.

Use enhanced barriers, similar to those designed by United Kingdom and Israel, to shield and protect vulnerable compounds and structures. (See Finding 26)

Establish threat based stand-off or exclusion areas around compounds and bases.

Procure personal protective equipment suitable for extreme hot weather operations.

The last recommendation of this section is classified.

TRANSPORTATION

Harden or procure armored buses to transport service members between housing areas and work sites.

Provide armed guards, at a minimum in pairs, on buses and provide armored escort vehicles.

Ensure host country military and police are actively involved in securing routes of travel.

Provide and maintain communications for all modes of transportation and centrally control and monitor transportation movements.

TRAINING

Provide personal protection antiterrorism training to all deployed service members and their families.

Conduct training exercises to rehearse responses to a terrorist attack, including building evacuation and re-assembly procedures.

Develop and use an extensive list of potential terrorist scenarios to assess force protection measures at each site in the Area of Responsibility.

FOLLOW-ON ASSESSMENTS

The Task Force could not physically survey all locations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility within the time frame of this Report. Locations in the theater which the Task Force did not survey should be assessed as soon as possible. These include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Oman, Sudan, and Yemen. The Task Force had only a limited opportunity to assess force protection in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain. Urgent priorities to improve force protection have been identified at U.S. facilities in these countries. A follow-on assessment team should conduct a more in-depth survey of these sites.

INTELLIGENCE WARNING OF ATTACK ON KHOBAR TOWERS

FINDING 18: While intelligence did not provide the tactical details of date, time, place, and exact method of attack on Khobar Towers, a considerable body of information was available that indicated terrorists had the capability and intention to target U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia, and that Khobar Towers was a potential target.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 18:

The first two recommendations for Finding 18 are classified.

Provide commanders of units operating in a high threat air base defense environment direct access to a dedicated intelligence analytic capability. (See Finding 11)

FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE BOMBING

THE CHAIN OF COMMAND

FINDING 19: The chain of command did not provide adequate guidance and support to the Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional).

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINDING 19: That the Secretary of Defense take action, as appropriate.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SECURITY OF KHOBAR TOWERS

FINDING 20: The Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional) did not adequately protect his forces from a terrorist attack.

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINDING 20: Refer to the Chain of Command for action, as appropriate.

ADEQUACY OF FUNDING AND RESOURCES FOR FORCE PROTECTION

FINDING 21:Funding for force protection requirements was not given a high priority by the 4404th Wing (Provisional).

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINDING 21: Separately identify force protection requirements in budget submissions and assign them appropriate funding priorities.

SAUDI RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECURITY

FINDING 22: (a) The division of responsibility for the protection of Khobar Towers was clearly understood by both U.S. and Saudi officials.

(b) Saudi security forces were unable to detect, deter, and prevent the truck bomb attack outside the perimeter fence at Khobar Towers.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 22:

Establish and maintain regular working relationships between senior commanders and appropriate host nation officials.

Raise critical force protection issues to the chain of command, if unable to solve them at the local level.

MEDICAL CARE AT KHOBAR TOWERS

FINDING 23: The medical care provided to the victims of the June 25 bombing at Khobar Towers was outstanding; however, mass casualty procedures could be improved.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 23:

Continue emphasis on first aid, bandaging and splinting, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for all individuals. Initiate similar training for all services, where appropriate.

Continue emphasis on realistic mass casualty training and exercise scenarios, and increase Advanced Trauma Life Support training for medical providers.

Provide an increased number of ambulances in Saudi Arabia.

Make the wearing of identification tags mandatory in contingency operations.

Provide a patient on-line data base at all medical facilities to assist in identification and treatment of patients.

Include requirements for patient administration in contingency plans for mass casualties.

Establish contingency contracting for local translator support in a crisis.

FINDING 24: This finding and its recommendation are classified in their entirety.

APPLICATION OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO FORCE PROTECTION

FINDING 25: Technology was not widely used to detect, delay, mitigate, and respond to acts of terrorism.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 25:

Provide professional technical assistance and information on force protection from the DoD to units in the field.

Designate a DoD element to rapidly acquire and quickly field integrated force protection technology to deployed forces.

The third recommendation for Finding 25 is classified.

Train military leaders on an integrated systems approach to physical security and force protection technology.

ALLIED FORCE PROTECTION EFFORTS

FINDING 26: U.S. allies have extensive experience and have accumulated significant lessons learned on force protection applicable to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FINDING 26:

Develop and implement an integrated systems approach to force protection planning, using lessons learned from U.S. allies.

Strengthen cooperative efforts between the United States and allies on terrorism and force protection matters.

Develop a means of sharing information obtained during cooperative exchanges with other force protection professionals in the United States.

Return to Contents