Tag Archives: new media

Advanced Combat Controller Training

Advanced Combat Controller Training

This blog focuses on a Senior Airman that has done something out of the box. Senior Airman David Salinitri, a public affairs specialist for the Air Force Special Operations Command, has taken the challenge to go through combat controller training for documentation. He is wearing a helmet cam to show the world firsthand what it takes to be a combat controller.

“I can bench press near 250lbs, but when it came to having to maneuver my way through this rope course, the course definitely had its way with me.”

Airman Salinitri walks us through his experiences and how he performs while training. He is required to go through courses like rope climbing, water confidence, buddy breathing, etc. As I perused his videos and images, I felt the pain our Airmen endure to defend our nation. It makes me want to be there and not be there at the same time. Combat Controllers are much respected Airmen with a huge sense of pride, and if I was in their shoes I would feel the same way. Interested in learning more? Take a deep breath, and prepare for a blog that falls just short of coating you in sweat. Yeah, it’s that intense. Check it out.

PHOTO: Combat Control students from the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., assemble their gear during water confidence training, Sept. 9, 2010 here.

Memorial Day ceremony at Air Force Memorial

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy and Airmen from around the DC area celebrated Memorial Day with a ceremony at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington. Below are photos taken by Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Sarracino.

U.S. Air Force bugler Master Sgt. Ken Oedemann, left, plays taps while Air Force Honor Guard member, Staff Sgt. Matthew Massoth salutes at a Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. Monday.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James A. Roy, center, salutes a wreath during the Memorial Day ceremony held at the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. Monday. Chief Roy is flanked by Dan Derrow of the Air Force Sergeant’s Association and Jim Lauducci of the Air Force Association.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James A. Roy addresses a crowd during a Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. Monday. Chief Roy is flanked by Dan Derrow of the Air Force Sergeant’s Association and Jim Lauducci of the Air Force Association.

Blog Spotlight: Boots in the Doorway

*Occasionally, Air Force Live puts the spotlight on individual blogs written by Airmen or their family members. These blogs provide an unofficial glimpse into the various aspects of Air Force life. Opinions expressed are those of the bloggers and are not endorsed by the US Air Force.

For Cheryl, home is wherever the Air Force sends her and her family.

So far, the California-native has lived in Mississippi, Kansas, Texas, Florida and Arizona, all in support of her active-duty Air Force husband, who is currently deployed for eight months. As a stay-at-home mother of two children, she shares her experiences in her blog, Boots in the Doorway, writing candidly about the ups and downs of life during a deployment.

“The airport allows military families  to go to the gate so that they can spend a little more time together which we were very thankful for,” she wrote of sending her husband off on his deployment. “On our way 2 different people stopped Chris to thank him for his service. I always get choked up when that happens because it means so much to hear that from people. It reminds me how proud and special all our military are and that our journeys tend to be a little different then civilians in so many ways that can’t be explained.”

Since then, she’s shared everything from class field trips with her daughter to preparing care packages for her husband, all while reflecting on what it means to serve from the homefront when it literally feels like half her heart is in Iraq. 

“I never know what is going to spark that emotion in me that can break me down in a instant,” she wrote recently. “Sometimes its driving by his work or seeing his uniform hanging in the closet, finding his favorite hot sauce hidden in the fridge, his razors in the cabinet or that song you hear on the radio.”

Recently, Cheryl got a happy distraction via a spouse incentive flight at her base on a KC-135 Stratotanker, where the ladies got to watch an F-15 refuel in the air. She was able to take photos and a short video clip of the flight for her blog.

“We took turns taking tons of pictures and watching the action,” she wrote. “I HIGHLY suggest you take the opportunity if it comes available to go on a spouse flight. They were happy to do it since they want the spouses to be excited about the Air Force so we encourage our hubby’s to stay active.”

To read more about Cheryl’s experience as the Air Force wife of a deployed Airman, visit Boots in the Doorway.

Air Force New Media guide and video available online

As part of our initiative to help guide Airmen into being communicators, “New Media and the Airforce” is now available for download. The pamphlet, created by the Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Emerging Technology Division, should be used as an instructional guide and is primarily intended for Air Force Public Affairs people. It is not to be construed as official guidance, endorsement of products or the sites listed, nor is it policy. All Airmen and the public are free to download and consult the book to learn more about social media and how it is being used as a new communication tool. The accompanying video is also available for viewing on Air Force BlueTube. This video shows how Airmen are currently using social media to tell their story.

We will update the guide frequently and are interested in crowdsourcing it in order to hear from society what works and what doesn’t. We know it’s not perfect (we just found several typos from comments on the blog–thank you), but we’re working on it. In the meantime, feel free to tell and share your story in your voice. We’re getting there and this guide was one way to get Public Affairs folks talking and listening to the digital world.

UPDATE: Requests for more information have been made. We’d like to offer these documents as well. The 2006 Secretary of the Air Force’s Letter that all Airmen are communicators. Link.

The letter states: “The success of this effort will rely on making every Airman an ambassador for our Air Force, at home and abroad. Your stories resonate the most with local newspapers, schools, and rotary clubs. The American public looks up to you as a model of integrity, and by sharing your experiences you are the best spokesmen for our Air Force.”

Further guidance from Headquarters Air Force in the form of Roll Call states:

“You are not prohibited from using blogs or social network sites, but you must consider the following before posting information to the public Web:

Classified information – this includes information that is not available to the public and would not be released under the Freedom of Information Act. Releasing classified information to the public—intentionally or otherwise—could result in UCMJ action, or worse, the compromise of national security.

Operational Security (OPSEC) – while certain pieces of information may not be classified, when put together, there can be detrimental results. Writing about current or future operations, locations of personnel or equipment, or arrival and departure information are all sensitive details that, if pieced together, could endanger the Air Force mission and the lives of our friends and Allies.

Illegal acts or incidents under investigation – a blog can be considered as evidence of guilt or personal knowledge of a crime. Illegal acts discussed in blogs could be used as evidence for UCMJ action.

Use of government computer systems – personal blogging on a government computer system is strictly prohibited. Government servers are reserved for the conduct of official business, and violations are punishable under the UCMJ. Moreover, personal blogging on a government computer places the government’s ability to protect national security at risk.”

A draft Air Force Instruction (for those in the Air Force), dealing with social media, is in coordination. This is new ground for some. Consult your supervisor, base Public Affairs office, base legal office or commander if in doubt.

Creating a World Wide Rave at Air Force Public Affairs Conference

For the past week, 350 Airmen and Air Force civilians have been meeting in Dulles, VA, at the 2009 U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Professional Development Seminar (we just call it the Worldwide).

UPDATE: March 25, 2009: Check out this post from the Acting Director of Air Force Public Affairs, Colonel Mike Caldwell.

The conference is a chance for everyone who works in public affairs (PA) to get together to share ideas and learn what others have been doing in their PA shop.

We discuss communication techniques that run from traditional media relations, to partnerships, to Combat Camera and Defense Visual Information. A big focus this year has been New Media Tactics. The Emerging Technology Division of AFPAA premiered their new book and video, both entitled “New Media and the Air Force,” and has been Tweeting (along with numerous other attendees) live updates from the event (follow #afpaww on Twitter). Though we’ve been engaging new media for little over a year through blogging, Air Force BlueTube, and Twitter, this conference has been the first chance to share these tools with other MAJCOMS and Airmen. The government and military have faced numerous challenges trying to get leadership buy-in to use social media. This is evident when we attend the Armed Services Social Media Working Group and hear the challenges our sister branches are facing. But we are making strides. Leadership is getting a little more comfortable with the idea of social media. President Obama’s executive order regarding transparency has also helped push this movement because government and military agencies now want to be sure that they’re sharing their stories in every media avenue. The reality is that social media is not going away and the government is going to have to adopt or miss out.

As more evidence of our strides, just look at who we had for our keynote speaker yesterday. David Meerman

David Meerman Scott
David Meerman Scott

Scott, author of five books, including The New Rules of Marketing and PR and the just-published World Wide Rave. Why does that matter? Because Scott is a communicator with ideas that are atuned to new media, which is not the traditional thought process for military PAs. He discussed some of the ideas from World Wide Rave and how you can change your way of thinking to create a new, captivating product that gets noticed. Some of these ideas fall under the notion of “viral” marketing, some are just a complete shift on how to advertise your product. Will this work for the military? It’s hard to say, but it is apparent that Scott empowered the Airmen to think of media and communications differently. Now the Airmen are armed with new ideas to practice public affairs, and more importantly, a new way to tell the Air Force story to the public. Follow us online and look for more social media from other MAJCOMs and wings. Share your stories and suggestions and join the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say.