Friday, April 30, 2010

Public Affairs ushers 188th Fighter Wing into social media era with new 'Facebook' page

I extracted the following news article from "The Flying Razorback" (official 188th Fighter Wing newspaper), May 2010 public online PDF issue, just found by trying Google yesterday:

By Capt. Heath Allen
188th Public Affairs

FORT SMITH, Ark. — The 188th Fighter Wing entered the social media age with the premiere of its newest communication tool. The 188th Public Affairs Office launched the Air National Guard unit's official Facebook page April 15.

Individuals seeking more information about the 188th, an Arkansas ANG unit based in Fort Smith, Arkansas, can not only visit the unit's Web site,, for information about the wing they can also interact with past and present unit members as well as the community and 188th supporters on Facebook.

The 188th's new Facebook page can be found by searching "188th Fighter Wing, Arkansas Air National Guard" or by logging onto Facebook and visiting the following link:

The 188th's newest communication forum allows individuals to download photos of the unit and to post comments and questions as well as photos or videos of subject matter that pertains to unit activities.

The 188th reserves the right to censor posts for inappropriate materials. All photos or videos involving military operations, either at home station or abroad, must be approved for release by appropriate public affairs personnel.

The Department of Defense issued a new social media policy that military officials feel will likely expand access to popular social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter by troops using military computers.

"This directive recognizes the importance of balancing appropriate security measures while maximizing the capabilities afforded by 21st century Internet tools," said Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III in a statement.

While the 188th currently does not have access to Facebook on base, its members currently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, or anywhere around the globe can use the unit's new page to communicate with friends and family.

The Arkansas Army National Guard already has access to Facebook on its non-classified computer network, known by the acronym, NIPRNET (for Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network).

The Arkansas National Guard debuted its Facebook page last September with resounding success. Don Faul, who is the director of Online Operations at Facebook, also served six years active duty as a Marine Corps infantry officer before joining the company. He issued a statement about the new policy.

"Facebook is heartened by [the] decision to begin to allow our nation's men and women in uniform and civilian employees across the Department of Defense responsible access to social media, which plays an important role in people's daily lives," Faul said. "Facebook is an efficient way for people with real-world connections to share information and communicate and can be a particularly beneficial link between those stationed around the world and their families at home."

David M. Wennergren, deputy assistant secretary of defense for information management and technology, echoed those sentiments.

"The world of Web 2.0 and the Internet provides these amazing opportunities to collaborate," Wennergren said. "It not only promotes information sharing across organizational boundaries and with mission partners, but also enables deployed troops to maintain contact with their loved ones at home."

Individuals interested in additional information concerning DoD's latest policy on social media can visit the following link:


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