News: EUCOM conducts communication training
Story by Spc. Samantha Parks
PRISTINA, Kosovo - A joint team from U.S. European Command and U.S. Army Europe conducted communication training for various institutions in Kosovo from June 17 to June 20 in Pristina.
"We came down to provide public affairs guidance, training and assistance to the Kosovo Security Forces and to the Minister of Internal Affairs," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven Lamb, the plans, operations and exercises division chief for USAREUR.
Lamb instructed the Minister of Internal Affairs and several deputy ministers on how to prepare for and conduct an interview as well as gave advice for their public relations teams.
The group's team leader, U.S. Army Maj. Ryan Donald, the chief of media operations for EUCOM, was a part of similar training that took place in February.
"In February we were invited down by the [U.S.] embassy to familiarize the KSF [public relations] team and the minister and his staff on communications," Donald said. "We're really trying to get them to understand that when they do communication, they need to plan, they have to look forward and understand what their goal is. So basically where they are trying to go and what headline they want to achieve. We did that over a course of three days."
Donald and his team met with the minister's public relations staff for tactical familiarization and then sat with the minister to give a more theory based, overarching view to him and his staff.
"It was just ensuring that everyone there is on the same page, they have the same base line knowledge and they understand the importance of communicating with one voice," Donald said.
Because of the resounding success from February's training, Donald said he and his team were invited back to continue training with the KSF.
"The embassy wanted us to come back to conduct a second discussion with the public relations staff," Donald said. "Really, it's a partnership we have with Kosovo. They have their challenges, they're learning and we're just trying to help guide them. They can take our advice and develop their own products based off that to help build their institutions."
Donald said this round of training has been very successful as well.
"We're really proud and encouraged by the types of questions they were asking and the dialogue," he said. "They have taken our recommendations, looked at them, and tweaked them to suit their needs and it's working for them. They do still have some challenges, they do need to continue to modify and develop their plans. They see the light and they are eager to learn and want to ensure they are giving the best communication advice to the minister."
Lamb mirrored Donald's thoughts and felt the staff was truly understanding what they were talking about.
"The audience seems very attune to learning," Lamb said. "I think they are paying very close attention to what we are offering them and I think that it's going to benefit each of their organizations in the very near future."
The Minister of Kosovo Security Forces Minister Agim Ceku was also very pleased with the training.
"I really think that EUCOM provided us with the best insight and tools on strategic communication," Ceku said. "EUCOM strategic communication experts had an in-depth knowledge about the cultural complexity that Kosovo has and they have adapted their training perfectly for our own needs."
Donald said he has high hopes for the institutions of Kosovo.
"If they continue to develop and grow, just think where they will go with the trust and relationships they have with the Kosovo people," Donald said.