Tyndall Public Affairs hosts first joint media training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tiffany Del Oso
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Recently, the 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs hosted the wing’s first joint media training for leadership teams across Team Tyndall and the Naval Support Activity Panama City.

Commanders and senior enlisted leaders alike were invited to participate in hands-on, interactive media training provided by PA specialists from Tyndall, Secretary of the Air Force, NAS Panama City and Moody AFB.

“Telling the Department of the Air Force story educates the American public about our capabilities, helps us advocate for mission resources and can assure our allies while deterring our adversaries,” said Maj. Tanya Downsworth, SAF PA media operations officer. “Proactively communicating in today’s complex information environment ensures key stakeholders receive timely, accurate information with appropriate context.”

Allowing Airmen, Sailors and civilians in leadership positions from different career fields to participate in simulated interview training provides them a controlled environment to practice skills and techniques they might need during real-world situations.

Commanders and SEL’s were invited to the Airey Noncommissioned Officer Academy over a two-day training period to participate in communication briefings and hands-on, interactive interview training. Daily sessions included both on-camera interviews and print-based interviews.

"Media interviews can be intimidating, and we want to make sure that our leadership is ready and prepared for any real-world scenarios they might face," said Senior Airman Zachary Nordheim, 325th Fighter Wing public affairs journeyman. "Using various items like lights, cameras and direct questioning, we were able to test our participants on the skills they learned in our training. For example, interviewees were able to use techniques…to avoid unproductive questions by taking the discussion from unfriendly to friendly territory with a smooth transition."

Throughout the training, PA Airmen and civilians took on the roles of media reporters to familiarize military leaders’ with the procedures of being interviewed while allowing them the opportunity to practice their techniques and composure. Participants were also present during interviews allowing them to provide peer-to-peer feedback.

“Observing fellow leaders navigate through their fields during the training was incredibly enlightening,” stated Cmdr. Michael Mosi, NAS Panama City commanding officer. “The feedback exchanged among us, focusing on strengths and varied perspective, along with witnessing other commanders’ approaches, opened new avenues of thought and proved immensely beneficial in honing our skills.”

Interacting with the media is not just a necessity, it's an opportunity to strengthen relationships, build trust and ensure clear communication between the Department of Defense and the citizens of the United States.

“[The PA teams] merged seamlessly to create realistic training scenarios and deliver real-time critical feedback,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Goebel, Air Force Civil Engineer Center Natural Disaster Recovery deputy execution chief. “The PA training provided invaluable guidance and coaching to assist leaders through one of the most intimidating parts of the job: the media interview.”