If you are a Department of Defense (DoD) employee or contractor, and you plan to travel abroad for official or personal reasons, you need to receive a defensive foreign travel briefing before your trip. A defensive foreign travel briefing is a training session that provides you with information and guidance on how to protect yourself and your mission from potential threats and risks while traveling overseas. A defensive foreign travel briefing can help you prepare for and deal with situations such as:

  • Terrorism and violence
  • Espionage and surveillance
  • Cybersecurity and information security
  • Health and safety
  • Cultural and legal issues
  • Emergency and contingency plans

But how often must you receive a defensive foreign travel briefing? According to the DoD Annual Security Awareness Refresher, individuals are required to receive a defensive foreign travel briefing at least once a year. This is to ensure that travelers are up-to-date with the latest safety guidelines and global conditions. However, if you travel frequently or to high-risk areas, you may need to receive a defensive foreign travel briefing more often, or prior to each trip. You should also receive a security debriefing upon your return to the U.S., especially if you have been away for 90 days or more, or if you have encountered any security incidents or concerns during your travel.

To receive a defensive foreign travel briefing, you need to follow these steps:

  • Contact your security officer or manager and request a defensive foreign travel briefing. You should do this as early as possible, preferably at least 30 days before your departure date
  • Complete the required forms and documents, such as the SF-86, the SF-312, and the DD-1835. You should also provide information about your travel itinerary, destination, purpose, and contacts
  • Attend the defensive foreign travel briefing, either in person or online, and pay attention to the information and advice that are given. You should also ask questions and clarify any doubts or concerns that you may have
  • Follow the recommendations and precautions that are given during the defensive foreign travel briefing, and report any suspicious or unusual activities or incidents that may occur during your travel. You should also keep in touch with your security officer or manager and inform them of any changes or updates to your travel plans

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