US military heightens the security alert at European bases due to a combination of threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military has raised the security protection measures it is taking at its bases throughout Europe, asking service members to be more vigilant and keep a lower profile due to a combination of threats it is seeing across the region.

U.S. European Command said in a statement Sunday that a “variety of factors play into the safety of U.S. military community abroad.”

Increasing the threat level to Charlie, the second-highest of five levels for service members, is the result of a combination of events occurring across Europe, including elections in France and the U.K., the upcoming Olympics and other major sporting events, and the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide additional details. But they said they were unaware of any specific threat.

Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh would not say Monday whether bases in the Middle East, Africa or the Indo-Pacific were at similar increased force protection levels. However, one of the officials said that many of those bases, especially bases throughout the Middle East and Africa, already maintain higher security levels.

Force protection Charlie is instituted “when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating that some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely.” The highest of the five levels is Delta, which applies where a terrorist attack has occurred or when intelligence indicates terrorist action against a person or place is imminent, followed by Charlie, Bravo, Alpha and Normal, the minimum level.

Raising the threat level to Charlie means additional security measures will be in place at U.S. military installations, but it’s up to each commander’s discretion to determine what those measures are. It also means service members and their families who are living in each community should be more aware of their surroundings and maintain a lower profile, one of the officials said.

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