MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Col. Abdulatif Ali Abdalla Mohammed, a member of the Department of Moral Guidance, Republic of Yemen’s Ministry of Defense, takes a question from Jason Medina, a member of the U.S. Central Command Communication Integration Directorate, during a communication integration seminar March 11-15. On-camera interviews simulated real-life situations that would require the seminar participants to act as spokesmen for their departments. (U.S. Central Command photo by Sgt. Fredrick J. Coleman)
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (March 15, 2013) — Effective communication is a key component to a successful relationship between any military and the public. To share communication techniques and ideas, U.S. Central Command recently hosted public affairs representatives from the Yemen Ministry of Defense March 11-15 for a communication integration seminar.
The intent of the seminar, the third in a series, was to establish a relationship and share the best communication practices with public affairs representatives from partner nations, according to Air Force Maj. Mae-Li Allison, the seminar coordinator. Prior seminars were conducted with public affairs representatives from Jordan and Lebanon
During the seminar, members of the Communication Integration Directorate gave briefs on a variety of public affairs and media-related topics to include media operations, communication planning, message development and internet-based media capabilities. Other briefs included the importance of engaging key leaders and a practical application of on-camera interviews to help the participants develop their interviewing skills as they will occasionally serve as spokespersons for their respective units.
“Having the opportunity to learn from other military members who come from a background similar to mine was a great experience because of their knowledge in journalism and operations,” said Brig. Gen. Ali Ghaleb Ali Al-Harazi, who serves as the deputy director of Moral Guidance for the Republic of Yemen’s Ministry of Defense. “I now have more information and knowledge to take back to my shop and share with my workers.”
The participants were selected by the U.S. Embassies in their host countries in conjunction with their respective defense departments, based on their experience and expertise within their armed forces. They came from backgrounds including logistics, administration, infantry, and journalism.
Prior participants left the seminar more informed about public affairs practices and how to convey command information.
“The seminar was very well organized and also very informative,” said Maj. Simon Chammas, a seminar participant and 27-year veteran of the Lebanese Armed Forces. “The American military are the best to learn from and are some of the most knowledgeable about the field because of their past experiences.”