What is a defensive foreign travel briefing?
A defensive foreign travel briefing is a comprehensive session or document designed to prepare individuals for safe and secure travel to foreign countries. It provides information and guidance to enhance the traveller’s awareness, preparedness, and ability to navigate potential risks and challenges associated with international travel.
1. Risk Awareness:
A defensive foreign travel briefing is crucial for heightening awareness of potential risks and threats in unfamiliar environments. Understanding local hazards, political situations, and cultural nuances is essential for traveller safety.
2. Emergency Preparedness:
It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to handle emergencies. From medical incidents to security concerns, a defensive briefing outlines protocols, local emergency contacts, and evacuation procedures, ensuring travellers are well-prepared for unforeseen circumstances.
3. Cultural Sensitivity:
Promoting cultural sensitivity is integral to avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring respectful interactions. A defensive briefing educates travellers on local customs, traditions, and etiquette, fostering positive engagement with host communities and reducing the risk of cultural faux pas.
4. Security Measures:
The briefing covers security measures and precautions to minimize risks. This includes guidance on personal safety, securing belongings, and using reliable transportation services. Understanding how to navigate unfamiliar environments safely is essential for a smooth and secure travel experience.
5. Legal Considerations:
Defensive foreign travel briefings emphasize the importance of adhering to local laws and regulations. By educating travellers on legal considerations, such as visa requirements, restricted areas, and local regulations, the briefing helps prevent legal issues and ensures a lawful and stress-free journey.
Briefing Programme for International Travel
The Information Security Division runs the Foreign Travel Briefing Programme for people who work for the Department. Travel security briefings given to Department employees before they go abroad make them less vulnerable to information-gathering efforts by foreign enemies. Debriefings of Department employees who travel abroad help security staff figure out what their enemies are doing to target them.
The Foreign Travel Briefing Programme is for all employees, contractors, subcontractors, licensees, certificate holders, grantees, experts, and consultants who work for the Department and have access to Classified National Security Information (CNSI) or who are in a sensitive position.
People who don’t have access to CNSI or aren’t in sensitive positions should also call their Field Servicing Security Office and ask for a travel security awareness briefing before going to another country, whether for work or pleasure.
Email [email protected] if you want to know more about the Foreign Travel Briefing Programme or if you would like to ask for a briefing before your trip abroad.
How often must you receive a defensive foreign travel briefing
The frequency of defensive foreign travel briefings can vary based on factors such as the nature of travel, destination, and organizational policies. However, a common practice is to provide such briefings before every international trip, especially if there are significant changes in the destination’s safety and security conditions.
For example, a multinational corporation might mandate defensive foreign travel briefings for employees before each overseas assignment. If employees regularly travel to different countries, they may receive briefings more frequently, ensuring they stay informed about evolving conditions in various locations.
In practice, some organizations conduct defensive foreign travel briefings annually as part of routine training. In contrast, others may schedule them more frequently for employees with frequent or high-risk international travel responsibilities. To enhance their preparedness and security abroad, the goal is to update travellers on the latest safety information, emergency procedures, and cultural considerations.
- Security and safety risk
- Local points of contact should problems arise
- Reporting requirements for suspicious contact
- How foreign intelligence services target and approach personnel
Let’s break down the provided points in the context of how often one should receive a defensive foreign travel briefing:
1. Security and Safety Risk:
Understanding the security and safety risks at a destination is crucial for travellers. The frequency of defensive foreign travel briefings should coincide with any notable changes in the risk landscape of the destination. This might include updates on political stability, crime rates, or health concerns.
2. Local Points of Contact in Case of Problems:
Knowing local points of contact is essential for swift assistance in emergencies. Defensive foreign travel briefings should be provided before each trip to ensure that travellers know current local contacts, especially if there are changes in personnel or local support services.
3. Reporting Requirements for Suspicious Contact:
Awareness of reporting requirements for suspicious contacts is vital for security. Briefings should be conducted regularly, especially if there are updates to reporting protocols or a notable change in the geopolitical climate that might affect the nature of suspicious activities.
4. How Foreign Intelligence Services Target Personnel:
Understanding how foreign intelligence services target and approach personnel is crucial for safeguarding against espionage threats. Briefings on this specific topic should be conducted periodically, especially when intelligence indicates an increased threat or changes in tactics used by foreign entities.
In summary, the frequency of defensive foreign travel briefings should be dynamic, with a baseline recommendation before each trip. However, additional briefings may be necessary for response to changes in the security landscape, personnel, or global events that could impact the safety of travellers.
RAISING TRAVEL SECURITY AWARENESS
In general, a lot of people travel in the summer. The Vacationer report “Summer Travel Survey & Trends 2023” says that 85% of Americans plan to travel this summer, and almost 23% plan to travel abroad. In summer, many DOD employees and cleared contractors will travel for work and pleasure. People with security clearances are just as likely to be victims of crime as anyone else when they travel, both within the U.S. and abroad.
They are also the main targets of terrorists and the Foreign Intelligence Services. According to agency or organization policy, people who work with classified information or are in sensitive positions must report any official or unofficial travel to another country before they leave. Security experts should teach their employees about the risks of travelling, how to lower them, and what to do if something goes wrong. People should learn about possible dangers, how to reduce their risks, and what to do if something goes wrong.
There are travel safety resources from CDSE, the U.S. State Department, and the National Counterintelligence and Security Centre (NCSC). Many resources are about travelling abroad. Still, some threats (like criminal activity, foreign intelligence targeting, etc.) and ways to deal with them also apply to travelling in the U.S. These tools can help organizations become more aware of travel-related security issues.
By people who want to travel
A security briefing is one of the best ways to teach DOD and cleared industry staff about travel risks, ways to reduce those risks, and available travel resources. In either a general security awareness briefing or a travel briefing, you can learn about travel security. The Defensive Security Briefing, the Counterintelligence (CI) Foreign Travel Briefing, and the
And a template for a foreign travel brief. You can also share CDSE’s travel safety posters online or put them up in facilities.
There is a chance that someone could harass, exploit, provoke, capture, entrap, or commit a crime. Defensive travel briefings let people know about these risks. They also offer ways to lessen the harmful effects on security and personal life. The briefings suggest passive and active ways to stay safe and avoid accidentally becoming targets or victims. The Defensive Security Briefing that you can get from CDSE comes from DODM 5105.21–
V3, October 19, 2012, The administrative security manual for sensitive compartmented information (SCI) covers the management of personnel security, industrial security, and special activities. This briefing gives information on travel advice, requirements for reporting, terrorists, criminal activity, and mob violence.
A 15-minute, short eLearning course is available called CDSE CI Foreign Travel Briefing (CI022.16). The training programme and short Assist DOD
Workers in cleared defence contractor facilities, including facility security officers (FSOs), create customized briefs. It includes a list of suggested topics for a CI Foreign Travel Brief. Vulnerability Awareness, Personal Safety, Terrorist Threats, Assistance Contacts, and Before You Go are some topics covered. DOD security staff and FSOs can add or remove information from the Foreign Travel Brief Template to suit their organizational needs.
The Wrapping Up
Understanding the importance of a defensive foreign travel briefing is crucial for individuals, especially those in sensitive positions or with classified information. These briefings, conducted before international trips, cover topics ranging from risk awareness and emergency preparedness to cultural sensitivity and legal considerations. The frequency of these briefings should align with changes in destination safety, ensuring travellers stay informed about evolving conditions. The Foreign Travel Briefing Programme, exemplified by the Department’s initiative, provides a structured approach to disseminating vital information, contributing to personnel’s overall security and well-being during international travel.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. How often should I receive a defensive foreign travel briefing?
Briefings are typically recommended before every international trip. However, the frequency may vary based on organizational policies, changes in destination safety, or the nature of travel.
2. What does a defensive foreign travel briefing cover?
It covers diverse topics, including risk awareness, emergency preparedness, cultural sensitivity, security measures, and legal considerations to ensure comprehensive preparation for international travel.
3. Who is eligible for the Foreign Travel Briefing Programme?
The programme is designed for all employees, contractors, subcontractors, licensees, certificate holders, grantees, experts, and consultants working for the Department, particularly those with access to Classified National Security Information or in sensitive positions.
4. How can I request a briefing before my trip abroad?
Individuals can contact the Field Servicing Security Office or email [email protected] to inquire about the Foreign Travel Briefing Programme and request a briefing before their international trip.
5. Are there resources available for travel security awareness?
Yes, resources from CDSE, the U.S. State Department, and the National Counterintelligence and Security Centre offer valuable information on travel safety that applies to international and domestic travel.
As a passionate Researcher & writer at the Islamic University of Bangladesh, I like to write Traveling Guidance and Tips. Also a Search Engine Optimization Expert.