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December 12, 2013

Creative visual team showcases munitions at the 162nd Fighter Wing

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Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by John Alderman)
Senior Airman Curtus Cowles processes 20mm ammo using the Universal Ammunition Loading System. The 20mm rounds are used on the F-16’s internal gun system.

When trying to reach that segment of young people who might be ready and willing to commit to their community, state and country, the Air National Guard does not rely on posters of Uncle Sam nor the “Fuel Your Future” or “Guarding America, Defending Freedom” slogans of yesterday.

Instead, America’s premier air power turns to the talents of ANG Creative, a visual information force tasked with the challenge of satisfying recruiting requirements.

And on Sept. 10-12 at the Tucson International Airport, ANG Creative captured the career field that allows pilots to deliver destruction to the enemy – weapons and munitions systems.

“We provide visual information capabilities and products for recruiting by creating awareness in all 54 states and territories,” said Master Sgt. Don Luby, production manager for the Vermont-based shop.

In describing what he does, Luby coined the term “visionary firepower,” born out the need to slow the revolving door of recruiting and retention numbers while doing it in a cost-efficient and artistic way.

Along with outsourced gaffers, sound technicians, make-up artists and boom operators, ANG Creative transformed various areas of the 162nd Fighter Wing into temporary, movie production sites. Filming covered what the outside observer might expect in the day-of-the-life of munitions personnel, which included assembling missiles, transporting munitions to the flight line and loading bullets into the chains of a Universal Ammunition Loading System (UALS).

“The volume of work this wing does is huge, and the functional area manager for munitions and weapons from the National Guard Bureau recommended Tucson,” said Luby.

With the American public constantly bombarded with advertising and marketing campaigns in various media outlets, ANG Creative is in seemingly never-ending competition for the attention of prospective Airmen. Months of conceiving, planning, producing, editing and audience targeting culminates into a final product, usually in 30 and 120 second commercial formats, along with captured imagery used for print ads, billboards, social media and internal uses.

Like other munitions specialists at the wing, Staff Sgt. Grant Reed temporarily set aside his occupation as an “ammo troop” and took on the role of an “ammo actor” for the three-day shoot.

“It’s great to represent the career field as a whole and educate the public on what we do,” said Reed.

The release of the commercials and other visual products associated with wing munitions personnel will be available in January on the Air National Guard YouTube and Facebook site. Additionally, other visual products will be available through a visual information library exclusively for Air Guard recruiting and retention personnel.

To view photo galleries from ANG Creative, Airmen can visit the Air National Guard Facebook page.




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