While Wyoming has the smallest population of any state in the union, there are still many potential targets for terrorists. Among the most high profile targets are the numerous nuclear missile silos that populate the state. The Francis E. Warren Air Force Base is also a high profile military installation which houses more than 150 Minuteman and 50 nuclear Peacekeeper missiles.
Wyoming has already experienced domestic terror threats. In February of 2004, two white supremacists were stopped and searched. Their rented truck had nine pipe bombs upon investigation. Domestic terrorists could target other events and structures in the state. Cheyenne is one of the busiest railroad junctions in the country with the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern rails carrying an enormous number of rail cars annually. Wyoming is also a potential target for biological or agro-terrorism with the state one of the largest producers of beef and crops. Wyoming is also a major coal producer for the East Coast, and an electrical power producer for the West Coast.
Wyoming Office of Homeland Security
The agency responsible for protecting the state’s residents and major sites is the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security (OHS). In addition to developing and implementing major programs, OHS is responsible for equipping and preparing local personnel for emergency operations. Regional Emergency Response Teams are distributed throughout the state to assist local and private homeland security organizations.
Training and Requirements for Homeland Security Jobs in Wyoming
Many of the homeland security jobs in Wyoming are provided by private sector companies. KeyPoint Government Solutions is a services provider for public organizations and recently posted a job vacancy for a Background Investigator. The minimum requirements for this position included:
- A bachelor’s degree or four years of professional experience
- Experience in background investigations preferred
- Ability to manage deadlines and work independently
- Ability to communicate effectively in writing
- Ability to interact with diverse clients and personnel
- Pass a drug test
- Proficiency with common word processing and computer applications
- Ability to obtain a federal security clearance
- U.S. citizenship
- Willingness to travel
Wyoming homeland professionals may enroll in the Wyoming Homeland Security Training Program (WHSTP) to obtain advanced instruction in specialized topics. WHSTP offers many courses that are sponsored by federal agencies and include:
- Bomb-making materials awareness
- Wide area search
- Incident Command System
- Law enforcement active shooter emergency response
- Disaster preparedness for hospitals and healthcare
- Social media for disaster response and recovery
A variety of two year colleges and four year universities offer associate’s degrees and certificates in homeland security fields.
In addition to universities, there are a number of nationally recognized industry organizations that offer professional certification programs. Among the most prestigious of these are
- National Domestic Preparedness Coalition
- Certified Homeland Protection Professional
- Certified Homeland Protection Associate
- American Board for Certification in Homeland Security
- Certified in Homeland Security I-V
- Certified in Disaster Preparedness
- Intelligence Analyst, Certified
- Certified National Threat Analyst