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    318th TPASE supports CPX-F

    318th TPASE supports CPX-F

    Photo By Spc. Clevon Wright | Capt. Jeremy Skelton, center left, assigned to the 318th Theater Public Affairs...... read more read more

    FORT MCCOY, Wisc. - U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers in the Public Affairs military occupational specialty often find themselves only performing one side of their job during their two week annual training- taking photos and writing stories.

    During this year's annual training, the Soldiers under the 318th TPASE were split into three groups, two of which participated in the Warrior Exercise at Fort McCoy, while the third participated in the Command Post Exercise- Functional, held June 1-14, also at McCoy. The Soldiers assigned to the CPX-F would quickly learn there is a whole other side to Public Affairs in the Army.

    For a few years now the CPX-F has allowed several information-related capabilities to come together to support a Civil Affairs unit in a controlled, exercise environment. This year, the 318th TPASE was able to come in and help shine a light on how Public Affairs provides more than just stories and photos of events, and how it differs from its IRC partners, like psychological operations.

    "Our job is to not only tell the Soldier's story, but to also make sure the public knows the intent of the unit commanders we work with and provide accurate and timely information that showcases the full parameter of capabilities that U.S. Army, and in this case, Army Reserve units have," said Sgt. 1st Class Charlotte Reavis, an operations noncommissioned officer with the 318th. "This makes our mission very different from other information operations units."

    Mr. Dean Hale, a constructive training exercise planner with Booze Allen Hamilton supporting Army Reserve collective training exercises and CPX-F, said their goal is to look at the mission essential training and collective training tasks for units that are getting trained and see how they can write scenarios that will incorporate those tasks into the exercise the unit is participating in. These exercises allow units to react to those scenarios and look at the output provided to train better for future mission sets, to include overseas deployments or other real world missions.

    "The 318th being here has been tremendously appreciated by the training audience because their commanders are actually getting coached and trained on Public Affairs and the role of Public Affairs," said Hale.

    During their time at the CPX-F, the 318th conducted multiple interviews with the Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations senior officers, most of which had not interacted with media or been given an interview before. They were also able to work with the exercise planners and the exercise control cell to provide more real-world guidance in the scenarios so the other IRCs would know how to appropriate integrate Public Affairs into their mission sets.

    Maj. Joseph Thomas, a member of the 84th Training Readiness Command and the Master Scenario Event List manager for the CPX-F, said his exposure to Public Affairs during his time on active duty was minimal and he has appreciated seeing what the 318th was able to bring to the table for the Army.

    "Usually the public affairs office is already integrated into the organization and with all of the turnover, we don't typically get the capabilities brief from public affairs," Thomas said. "We know that they're there but we don't know what they do."

    He continued to say the 318th gave an opportunity for units and Soldiers who may have never had the Public Affairs-specific capabilities brief before to learn specifically what Public Affairs can do.

    The members of the 318th also wrote and published several products to include Public Affairs Guidance for the exercise as a whole, multiple Press Releases for the different training scenarios, holding statements, and much more. The Soldiers of the 318th were also able to hold two notional press conferences and dress up as media on several occasions so commanders could get a better feel on how they should handle media in the real world.

    "Several of the 318th Soldiers have yet to be officially trained, or they are newly trained, on Public Affairs tasks, but each was willing to learn and improve their skills throughout the exercise," Reavis said. "We were able to provide realistic products and training to our Civil Affairs and information counterparts, which will be beneficial to both sides in the long run. Training like this cannot be any better than that."

    Both the staff of the CPX-F, and the leadership of the 318th, stated this is not the end of seeing Public Affairs in this exercise and they all look forward to building on the integration of Public Affairs in Army exercises in the future.



    Date Taken: 06.14.2021
    Date Posted: 06.25.2021 12:02
    Story ID: 399305
    Location: WI, US

    Web Views: 26
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