Austere Challenge 2012: Meeting and Working with our Israeli Public Affairs Counterparts
Austere Challenge 2012 (AC12) gives us an outstanding opportunity to team up with our partners from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), laying the groundwork now that will provide a foundation for working together in the future.
Our Combined Public Information Center team here includes EUCOM public affairs officers (PAO) and PAOs from the Joint PA Support Element from Norfolk, Va. The IDF PAOs here have been extremely welcoming and gracious hosts. Personally, I found it interesting how all but one of our Israeli PA colleagues are reservists, almost all speak excellent English (some even with no accents), and several are dual citizens, having lived in the U.S. (e.g., California, Michigan) for the first portions of their lives before moving here to become Israeli citizens.
During the first two days, we worked to learn each other's backgrounds (including civilian occupations), roles during AC12, and some best practices we can apply during the exercise to include social media engagement and PA planning. Undoubtedly, we're excited to have a productive and educational AC12 with our new friends.
Lt Col Chris Hemrick
US Air Force Reserve
EUCOM Public Affairs