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Old 03-13-2018, 10:28 AM
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Arrow Air Force restricts public information access during retraining period

Air Force restricts public information access during retraining period
By STARS AND STRIPES - Published: March 13, 2018

Air Force Staff Sgt. Johnny Brown, 18th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, explains F-15 Eagle maintenance to local media members Feb.14, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The Air Force is now restricting media access while it retrains its public affairs teams.


The Air Force is restricting media access to its bases and curtailing interviews with personnel while the service’s public affairs teams get retrained on operational security, according to new policy guidance.

The March 1 Air Force memo, obtained by Defense News, states that responses to reporter questions about operations, training and readiness now must be approved by the Air Force’s public affairs headquarters at the Pentagon. Media embeds also are restricted for the time being.

The guidance is expected to stand while public affairs teams and commanders down to the wing level get trained on how to avoid disclosing sensitive information. Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas, the Air Force’s top spokesman, told Defense News the training could be completed “in the coming weeks.”

“As we engage the public, we must avoid giving insights to our adversaries which could erode our military advantage,” the memo stated. “We must now adapt to the reemergence of great power competition and the reality that our adversaries are learning from what we say in public.”

Not all commands are subject to the public affairs restrictions. For example, combatant command guidance takes precedence for public affairs teams supporting Air Force headquarters in Europe and the Pacific, the memo states.

“We have not ceased or reduced engagements with our audiences or the media,” said Gabriel Myers, spokesman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa. “The memo and the training provides us with an additional opportunity to ensure we are protecting sensitive information.”

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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