Local

March 8, 2013

Public Affairs: We’ll make you famous!

Capt. Tristan Hinderliter, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs chief, currently deployed to the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, briefs local media Aug. 1, 2012, during the F-35 Lightning II basing announcement press conference at Luke Air Force Base.

Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff, said every Airman has a story. The Airmen in public affairs would like to help tell those stories.

Public affairs Airmen perform a diverse mission, ranging from providing counsel to leaders, to strengthening morale, and enhancing public trust and support. They use their communication skills to inform decision makers and communicate the services’ requirements, capabilities, actions and achievements to the world. At Luke Air Force Base, the programs and operations they manage also serve to increase public understanding of the Luke mission.

“The public affairs mission is to leverage communication capabilities through an integrated approach to advance the commander’s mission priorities,” said Barbara Plante, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs deputy chief. “This is achieved by providing trusted counsel and communications advice to leadership and Airmen.”

The PA office’s diverse mission is achieved by dividing efforts into several sections: internal information, community relations and media operations. The multimedia center portion of PA falls under the umbrella of internal information but supports all functions.

Airman 1st Class Katherine Vaughn, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs broadcaster, captures footage of Staff Sgt. Jacob Torgerson, 116th Air Support Operations Squadron joint terminal attack controller, May 3, 2012, waiting for a response during the exercise at the Barry M. Goldwater Range.

PA programs help Airmen understand their roles in the mission and recognize individual and team achievements.

“The internal information section ensures a free flow of information to Air Force members and their families,” said 2nd Lt. Candice Dillitte, 56th FW PA internal information chief. “We are responsible for accurately communicating the commander’s messages to Airmen and the Luke community as a whole. This is achieved through publishing the Thunderbolt and managing our official Air Force and social media sites.”

The multimedia section offers photo, video and graphics support and is responsible for telling and preserving the Air Force story. These Airmen provide visual products that act as catalysts for effective communications. During emergencies, these products help commanders visualize situations in order to make decisions.

For example, photojournalists provide support for the 56th Security Forces Squadron, 56th Medical Group and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations with coverage of incidents that can range from damage to government property to homicide.

“These photos are vital to investigations and can help decision makers determine Air Force policy,” Dillitte said.

Finally, they provide photos and broadcast products to the National Archives, allowing those outside the service to view how the Air Force is accomplishing its mission.

Airman 1st Class David Owsianka, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, interviews Staff Sgt. Erik Walker, 56th Fighter Wing Command Section assistant NCO-in-charge, for a story.

The community relations section helps build mutual acceptance, respect, appreciation and cooperation between the Air Force and the local community. This is achieved through the building of two-way communications between Air Force people and the communities in which they live, work and play. COMREL also assists in recruiting efforts and responds to requests for Air Force participation in public events. Lastly, they build trust and support by showcasing the Air Force community as a partner and responsible steward of public resources.

“The strong alliance between the base and the community has made a real impact on successful planning for compatible development and directly contributed to the decision to name Luke as the location of the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II pilot training center, which will ultimately keep our Air Force mission vital and strong,” Plante said.

Media operations ensure information release through news media to the general public. They respond to queries by news media agencies, ensuring that correct information is disseminated in a timely manner and acting as a type of rumor control. During emergencies and natural disasters, media operations act as the focal point for gathering and presenting the Air Force’s response and reaction to the situation, working with internal information to ensure that everyone is notified.

All of this is just the support that is provided at a typical home-station PA office.

While deployed, the public affairs mission can take a broader scope. Working with fewer people to accomplish a lot of the same functions, PA professionals are often tasked with training public affairs officers of friendly nations. PA creates and enacts communications strategies that inform audiences around the world about the Air Force’s impact on global events.

Lt. Col. Holly Slaughter, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs acting chief, and Master Sgt. Cindy Dorfner, 56th FW PA section chief, edit the Thunderbolt newspaper Feb. 8 at Luke Air Force Base. PA uses the newspaper, website, Facebook and Twitter to communicate the commander’s message, and the mission of Luke and the Air Force.

“There are many similar functions of PA at home station and in a deployed environment,” said Capt. Tristan Hinderliter, 56th FW PA chief. Hinderliter is currently deployed to the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. “Here, we’re primarily focused on internal information and media outreach, whereas at Luke, we also have a robust community relations program, as well as a much bigger multimedia capability.”

The deployed PA offices are still responsible for coordinating and hosting civilian media outlets, but inside of the combat areas of operations. Hinderliter said bringing media to see firsthand what the Air Force does is an opportunity to tell the story and show what Airmen bring to the fight. The reactions of world leaders to media reports and public opinion demonstrate the influence PA has on military operations.

Regardless of location, the PA focus remains — truthful communications at all levels.

Telling the Air Force story requires people with dedication and integrity — professionals who can communicate what leaders want to tell their Airmen. The 56th FW PA Airmen are ready to do just that.

Airman 1st Class Grace Lee, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, captures images during a load crew competition at Luke Air Force Base. Public affairs photojournalists take photos of historically significant events as well as to tell the Luke and Air Force story.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo-150612-F-EC705-058

Emerald Knights go out with bang

Emerald Knights watch a burning piano during the 308th Fighter Squadron inactivation party June 12 at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS and aircraft maintenance unit have packed up and are transitioning to the 314th FS standing...
 
 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

607th ACS change of command Lt. Col. Charles Jones will relinquish command of the 607th Air Control Squadron to Lt. Col. Jerald Canny in a ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hangar 999.   CMS change of command Maj. Scott Hall will relinquish command of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron to Maj. Anthony Sutton in...
 
 
5_Courtesy-photo

Monsoon season blows in storms, rain, dust

Courtesy photo Arizona is known for being sunny with clear skies for the majority of the year, but every year “it” happens. As the clouds roll in, the sky darkens with thunderbolts streaming overhead, and the first drops of...
 

 

Clinic responds to shortage with changes

The Luke Air Force Base Pediatrics Clinic is undergoing a shortage of provider staffing due to humanitarian mission support, separations and a decrease of providers from five to four. This manning issue has impacted appointments available to children as well as increased the wait times to be seen by the clinic. The 56th Medical Group...
 
 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

CDC mission includes playtime

Senior Airman Devante Williams Danielle Gatlin, 56th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center assistant teacher, watches children during recess June 11 at the CDC at Luke Air Force Base. The CDC accepts children with res...
 
 
18_150612-F-EC705-053

Photo essay: Emerald Knights go out with a bang

Tech. Sgt. Tim Boyer 308th FS jets line up to launch from Luke AFB June 12 on their way to Holloman AFB.   Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Pilots flying F-16s from Luke AFB to Holloman donned the 314th FS Warhawks patch.   Se...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>