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OSI Confronts Terrorism

This is a terrorist being watched during the Cold War. The man on the right is an Algerian who claimed to be a member of the Front de la Libération Nationale, or FLN. When he attempted to buy machine guns and pistols from the Airman on the left, near Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in 1959, the Airman alerted OSI. Their meeting was recorded and photographed in an investigation in which OSI cooperated with French and German police. The man in the background is an OSI agent. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This is a terrorist being watched during the Cold War. The man on the right is an Algerian who claimed to be a member of the Front de la Libération Nationale, or FLN. When he attempted to buy machine guns and pistols from the Airman on the left, near Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in 1959, the Airman alerted OSI. Their meeting was recorded and photographed in an investigation in which OSI cooperated with French and German police. The man in the background is an OSI agent. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The FLN terrorist who tried to buy guns from an Air Force member was wanted for murder by German police. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The FLN terrorist who tried to buy guns from an Air Force member was wanted for murder by German police. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Aftermath of the 1981 Red Army Faction bombing of U.S. Air Forces Europe headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Aftermath of the 1981 Red Army Faction bombing of U.S. Air Forces Europe headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Aftermath of the 1981 Red Army Faction bombing of U.S. Air Forces Europe headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Aftermath of the 1981 Red Army Faction bombing of U.S. Air Forces Europe headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This German police poster offers rewards for the capture of Red Army Faction terrorists -- also known as the Baader Meinhof gang -- who were wanted for several political bombings and murders in Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This German police poster offers rewards for the capture of Red Army Faction terrorists -- also known as the Baader Meinhof gang -- who were wanted for several political bombings and murders in Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo)

OSI agents provide threat information in dangerous circumstances as they deploy with Air and Space Expeditionary Forces. The four agents in front of the portrait of Saddam Hussein were the first OSI agents in Iraq at the start of the operation. (U.S. Air Force photo)

OSI agents provide threat information in dangerous circumstances as they deploy with Air and Space Expeditionary Forces. The four agents in front of the portrait of Saddam Hussein were the first OSI agents in Iraq at the start of the operation. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Terrorism became a significant threat to the Air Force in 1972 in Iran, when Islamic Marxists injured a visiting USAF general in a bomb attack. Attacks were infrequent, but some Americans were killed in Iran in the 1970s. These attacks posed a new threat to the Air Force as violent opposition to Iran's pro-Western government grew. Islamic revolution brought down the Iranian government in early 1979, and most American military personnel and their families were evacuated. OSI agents were some of the last to leave, staying behind to report on developments. At one point, the only American radio communications coming out of Iran were from the last two OSI agents in the country. They finally hid their OSI credentials, buried their guns, destroyed classified information and escaped Iran on a commercial aircraft.

War in Iraq and Afghanistan also transformed OSI operations. Because knowledge of threats to the USAF is crucial to successful operations, OSI has become a regular fixture in Air and Space Expeditionary Force deployments in a world of new threats. OSI agents were among the first American military personnel to enter Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Earlier, they had deployed to Kuwait and nearby nations during Desert Storm and related operations in the 1990s. In 2003 and after, OSI agents deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the USAF operates in unstable regions where ethnic, religious and cultural strife dominate, OSI's ability to protect the Air Force is more important than ever. Today, OSI agents continue to protect their fellow Airmen and other Americans wherever the USAF operates. OSI is working around the world to be the "Eyes of the Eagle."

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Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

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