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    Information dissemination training lays foundation for IA media officers

    Information dissemination training lays foundation for IA media officers

    Photo By Sgt. Robert M. England | Sgt. Shawn Miller, a photojournalist assigned to 109th Mobile Public Affairs...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Robert M. England 

    2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq – In an age of technology, information moves at broadband speeds with the click of a button. Information Operations sections in units across the U.S. Army must operate at the same pace using broadcast stories, news articles and photos to keep audience informed.

    Informing audiences of the U.S. Army mission builds support from local, regional and national audiences, an effort which has sparked interest in the Iraqi army, leading staff Brig. Gen. Dia’a, commander of 5th Iraqi Army Division, to request specialized training from U.S. Division-North soldiers.

    Senior leaders of 5th Iraqi Army Division learned how to accurately gather and distribute information in a timely manner during the Information Dissemination Operations course March 17 at Forward Operating Base Khamees in Diyala province of Iraq.

    U.S. Army soldiers of 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, a Pennsylvania National Guard unit, based out of Fort Indiantown Gap, deployed in support of U.S. Division-North, taught IA officers methods used by the U.S. Army to compile and distribute information to public audiences through a variety of media.

    As American soldiers deploy to foreign countries, specifically combat zones, the need to inform increases in response to the curiosity and concern of the families, friends and communities of soldiers serving overseas.

    Public Affairs soldiers inform internal and external audiences through videos, digital photos and written articles highlighting soldiers, their unit, and their mission.

    “I cover stories on units from [U.S. Division-North] in the advise, train and assist mission in northern Iraq,” said Sgt. Shawn Miller, a public affairs specialist-writer with the 109th MPAD. “I take photos and write stories from the missions I cover.”

    Miller said he utilized his years of photojournalism experience to teach Iraqi army media officers the basic mechanics of taking photographs to tell the story seen through the eyes of the photographer.

    “I taught them basic composition for photos, like the ‘Rule of Thirds,’” he said. “I showed them some examples of photos for referencing on how to take photos from different angles. My main emphasis was to get them to change their perspective rather than just walking around taking snapshots.”

    The IA media officer shares many duties and responsibilities similar to a U.S. Army Public Affairs officer, said Capt. Ali, media officer of Emergency Battalion, 5th IA Div.

    “I take pictures and write articles about events in my battalion,” Ali said. “Sometimes when we have missions going on, my commander instructs me to take pictures and write a report on the mission.”

    Maj. David Repyneck, executive officer, 109th MPAD, also lent his experience in public affairs during the IDO course.

    He taught the IA media officers how to compile information into a press release, or news article according to U.S. Army doctrine.

    Repyneck stressed the importance of including facts vital to the comprehension of an article, basic information for any particular event the media officers cover.

    Sgt. David Cannon, a non-commissioned officer assigned to 304th Military Information Support Operations Company, said IDO is a combination of messaging techniques that produces products which will enable the Iraqi government to directly inform the Iraqi people.

    Cannon, who coordinated the training, said this training will certainly have lasting effects that will benefit both the Iraqi army and the local Iraqi populace.

    “The ability to correctly message to the population of Iraq will give the government a chance to address direct issues that various groups of the population have while keeping the people current with what the [Iraqi] army is doing,” he said.

    Following the conclusion of the training, the IDO course instructors presented graduation certificates to each of the media soldiers, signifying successful completion of the course.

    In return, the 5th IA Div. commander presented certificates of appreciation to each of the instructors for dedicating their time and expertise to the training program, and for providing his media officers the knowledge they need to accurately and expediently inform the Iraqi people.



    Date Taken: 03.17.2011
    Date Posted: 03.27.2011 13:11
    Story ID: 67811

    Web Views: 113
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