Tag Archives: DOD

Price Floyd speaks about the new DoD Social Media Guidance

Mr. Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, participated in the DoD Bloggers 091124-F-1577E-064Roundtable (listen here) on 1 March, 2010, to discuss the recently signed policy regarding the use of internet based capabilities, including social media, on Department of Defense networks. The policy (known as Directive-Type Memorandum 09-026 [DTM]) calls for open access for all DoD branches to be able to use social media Websites, such as Facebook, YouTube, and blogs (many of which are currently blocked).

Purpose. This memorandum establishes DoD policy and assigns responsibilities for responsible and effective use of Internet-based capabilities, including social networking services (SNS). This policy recognizes that Internet-based capabilities are integral to operations across the Department of Defense. This DTM is effective immediately; it will be converted to a new DoD issuance within 180 days.

As stated above, Airmen and troops will not be able to suddenly access YouTube–it will take up to 180 days for the DTM to be fully implemented. In this time, representatives from the various service branches will work with DoD to finalize the issues and protocols that might occur from opening the Websites. Additionally, this time will allow for troop education that will help ensure operational security and general common sense rules are followed when engaging in online conversation.

Mr. Floyd reiterated that the default status of the networks is going to be OPEN, but access will be balanced to address security concerns. Commanders have the discretion to temporarily block access to social media Websites if necessary to open bandwidth, but they will not be able to close them permanently.

Addressing the importance of social media’s role in the DoD, Mr. Floyd stated that he “wants more, not less” blogging from troops on the front line. He expressed his optimism that this DTM is going to allow for more voices to be heard, while giving easier access to the necessary sites to help troops tell their stories.

To further drive home the importance of social media, Mr. Price implored “DoD commanders to “manage up” and impact what is already being said about them or their units online.” He stated that commanders should search for their own names and units and read what already exists, and in turn drive the conversation and set the record straight.

Let us know what you think of the new policy.

Photo: Master Sgt. Linda Adams, 379th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron consolidated tool kit NCOIC, updates her blog, which allows her to update and keep in touch with her students while deployed Nov. 24, 2009. In addition to being an Air Force reservist, Sergeant Adams is a teacher at Kate Shepard Elementary in Mobile, Ala. She is deployed from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
(U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Jason W. Edwards)

To have and not have–DoD social media access

Lately, there have been numerous articles about social media and the Department of Defense. One day there’s an article that most sites will be accessible, then later there’s an article that they’ll be closed. Today, an article in Stars and Stripes described this as, “a bad case of social networking schizophrenia” because of the near-daily changing tide.

Source: www.stripes.com

On July 31, Maj. Gen. Henry C. “Hank” Morrow, 1st Air Force commander, wrote a commentary on www.af.mil titled, “The ‘happy’ medium between OPSEC and social networking: Can it be achieved?” The General postulates, “Advocates for the sites feel they provide a forum where ideas, opinions and imagery can be freely shared with a worldwide audience. Antagonists feel that posting too much information can compromise operational security, or worse cost troops their lives, simply from a 140-character “tweet.” “So, is there a happy medium between the two? From a commander’s perspective, I believe the answer is yes, provided users stick to three basic rules of engagement.” The General goes on to lay out his guidelines for how social media can be made viable by following common sense.

So if we don’t find a happy medium, where does that leave those of us who maintain these social networking sites for the Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines? We don’t know. Most of us who administer the sites are public affairs people. We don’t get the final say on what sites are open or blocked. The best that we can do is offer suggestions to the communications and CIO types. Ultimately, if they say that a site will be closed, it will be closed. What that means is that Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines will have to access sites from home or via a commercial modem (as many currently do). Overall though, our hope is that we’ll continue to provide news and stories to the public and the military members using the growing social networks, and continue to allow every Airman to be a communicator.

In the meantime, you can follow the conversation and register your comments on the DoD Web 2.0 Guidance Forum. The site is “a new [Department of Defense] initiative to solicit input from the public” and “an approach to engage the public in DoD considerations of web 2.0 capabilities.”

As always, send us your comments or suggestions about what you want to see on the Air Force social media sites. We welcome your input. And keep an eye out for some upcoming changes and updates on our sites.

Paul F. Bove, Digital Media Strategist

Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Emerging Technology Division

Lt. Gen. Gary North discusses air operations in theater of war — more Air Force

Lt. Gen. Gary North recently spoke to a number of bloggers about his role as 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central Commander. Bloggers wanted to know if he anticipates an increase of airpower over Afghanistan similar to the increase of ground troops in that country.

His answer? Yes. There will be an increased Air Force presence both on the ground and in the skies over Afghanistan.

“Well, we will see an increase of our airmen in proportion based on the requirements that the increase in ground forces bring in,” he said. ” I have already moved in several extra C-130s to provide the inter-theater lift to move those personnel on the battlefield. We’ve moved in several helicopters for our combat CSAR and medical evacuation. And I am planning — based on an ongoing analysis, I’m prepared to bring in additional fighters if the analysis of the effort– ways that we will need to have more forces overhead. My goal is to meet the requirements and, of course, the way you can do that and this is the beauty of our asymmetric ability to fight is with our tanker force, you can take two ships or fighters or a bomber, the B-1, and keep them overhead for extended vulnerability periods, vul periods is what we call it, and so you’re capitalizing on that effect of a tanker overhead to be able to produce that armed overwatch for an extended period of time. So we will see an increase of airmen”.

“We anticipate in 2009 that we will at least surpass 16 million pounds and most probably be up between 20 million and 25 million of pounds of air dropped equipment and supplies as the fight continues,” said the General.

Click here for more of this topic, and  the complete transcript and audio file. The Bloggers Roundtable, supported and run by the Department of Defense (DoD) brings together bloggers and online journalists for interviews about events and issues within the DoD. The Roundtable is a great example of the shift to social media, as well as a reminder of the importance of bloggers.

Where else can a 14-year NCO from the Army be on the same line with Wired’s Danger Room, which gets 12 million monthly readers? The lines are blurring and the levels are equalizing regarding who gets access and who can report to millions around the world.

Military PAOs, and the government in general, need to recognize that there are people getting news in non-traditional ways and it’s time to work with those sources; encourage bloggers and engagement and conduct outreach with them.

Air Force Airmen get a shot at making commercials

A video contest for every Airman began December 1 providing an opportunity for Airmen to develop and produce videos to capture their vision of an effective Air Force recruiting and retention TV commercial. The videos should be a mission-documentary format, in which Airmen talk about what they do for the Air Force and our Nation. Entries are due to the US Air Force Public Affairs agency by Jan. 9. Submission guidelines and legal conditions are attached.

All videos submitted will be posted to Air Force Blue Tube, www.youtube.com/afbluetube where anyone can view and download them.

Posted by Capt. David Faggard, Air Force Public Affairs.