RAMSTEIN AB, Germany — A massive troop rotation back to Ramstein Air Base has been delayed because of a social media OPSEC violation, according to sources in US European Command.
According to several commanders, enlisted supervisors, and family members at bases throughout EUCOM, their troops will not be returning to home-station as expected because someone’s spouse posted sensitive information on Facebook.
“OMG i cant believe it! my bae is leaving al udeid airbase tomorrow @ 0800! i’ll be waiting for you when you fly into ramstien [sic], my love,” said the post by Patricia, whose last name is being withheld to protect the safety of the blonde, 21-year-old senior airman who works at Ramstein’s 86th Dental Squadron.
When a commenter asked when her husband would be back, she said, “[I] can’t tell you that. It’s classified.”
Though the post was later taken down, Air Force Office of Special Investigations is already using screenshots in briefings covering what not to do on Facebook when troop movements are imminent.
“What the fucking fuck?” said Brig. Gen. Jon Thomas, 86th Airlift Wing commander, as he face-palmed profusely during an all-call. “It’s one thing to tell your spouse that you’re in the ‘AFCENT AOR’ or assigned to ‘XYZ Unit’, but telling them your exact location and when you’ll be taking off? I command morons.”
Despite the increased opportunities for OPSEC breaches due to the emergence of social media, the impact of occurrences such as this has been kept to a minimum over the years. However, in this case, the consequences for misbehavior on Facebook have caused inconvenience for many home units and families back home and resentment among those who have to stay downrange longer.
In recent days, the soldiers and airmen in question have trickled in to their home-stations using available space on cargo planes. Patricia’s husband has been reported missing.