Multi-national partnership grows during PA exchange
Navy Capt. Tom Gresback (in uniform), a public affairs officer for Third Army/U.S. Army Central Command, discusses joint operations and public affairs strategies with delegates from the Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan armies during a visit to the Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk, Va., Oct. 23.

Members of the Third Army/U.S. Army Central Public Affairs Office hosted their public affairs counterparts from the Tajikistan and Kyrgystan armies during an exchange between the partner nations Oct. 19 through 23 in Washington, D.C.

Following the visit in Washington, D.C., the delegation visited the Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk, Va. At the time, the JWFC was participating with Third Army as part of Operation Bright Star, a multinational training exercise designed to improve readiness, interoperability, and strengthen military and professional relationships between Third Army, Egypt and several other nations.

During the exchange, delegates visited numerous portions of the U.S. Army's public affairs operations, including the Defense Information School and the Army Public Affairs Center at Fort George G. Meade, Md., as well as the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs in the Pentagon, the Defense Media Activity center in Washington, D.C., and the Joint Public Affairs Support Element in Suffolk.

"We have grown to understand the importance of public affairs operations in our country and the importance of working and interacting with the local media to tell our story," said Col. Muratbek Dzhakypov, public affairs officer with the Kyrgyzstan Army. "This trip has helped us to understand what we need in order to succeed in this mission. We had many questions coming into this trip and learning how the (U.S.) Army runs its public affairs provided excellent answers."

Maj. Amanda Azubuike, media relations officer with Third Army PAO, said the cooperation with the partner nations' armies has been a strong growing experience for all parties in working toward a sustainable future.

"Exchanges like this are important to share information and to improve interoperability between our partner nations," said Azubuike. "It is mutually important to share information in both directions. We can both learn from each other and help to shape the future."

Dzhakypov expressed his gratitude for the assistance provided in helping to grow the operational capability of the Tajikistan and Kyrgystan armies public affairs.

"We greatly appreciate everything Third Army has done to assist us," he said. "The cooperation was excellent and everyone learned a lot. We have a lot of information to take back to our countries and improve on our programs."

"We also want to thank everyone for taking the time and talking to us about the different programs used in the American Army," Dzhakypov said. We look forward to future visits and other opportunities to work side by side in the future. The professional respect and courtesy we received was first class."

Page last updated Thu November 12th, 2009 at 15:39