By Steven Lindstrom, Joint Multinational Training Command Intelligence and Security ChiefDecember 18, 2012
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Joint Multinational Training Command's Intelligence and Security Section partnered with the Grafenwoehr Performing Arts Center to present a highly engaging Operations Security, better known as OPSEC, training session at the Grafenwoehr Tower and Rose Barracks theaters, recently.
OPSEC is one portion of the community security refresher training, held quarterly to fulfill annual security training requirements. The October training sessions set quarterly attendance records with a total of 938 Soldiers, civilians and contractors trained in the two sessions.
USAG-Grafenwoehr Security and A Company, 2nd Battalion, 66th Military Intelligence personnel provided Information Security, Anti-terrorism/Force Protection, and Threat Awareness and Reporting Program briefings.
JMTC's partnership with the local Grafenwoehr Performing Arts Center, commonly known as GPAC, began small but grew rapidly.
Determined to engage and energize the Grafenwoehr military community regarding security challenges and threats, JMTC's Intelligence and Security section scripted an interactive presentation in order to present the information conveyed in a dynamic briefing format that used the talents of local community actors, role-players, as well as props and theatrical technical assistance.
The JMTC's Intelligence and Security Section sought and obtained assistance from the GPAC director, Joline Powell, who was pleasantly surprised by the result.
"I am a huge advocate of working not only with my MWR partners, but also other USAG Grafenwoehr units, our Bavarian garrison counterparts and with the German community," said Powell. "From the beginning, I really believed that this would be a successful partnership - but I had no idea that we would be performing to a packed theater."
Eight GPAC actors took on the challenge with enthusiasm, performing dress rehearsals at each venue prior to the live performances. USAG Grafenwoehr's Jorge Morel provided audio support.
Members of JMTC's Intelligence and Security office made script revisions and performed as narrator/briefers for the 45-minute presentations. Command Security Manager Gary Hamer remarked that "the success of this event was measured by the attentiveness of the audience, which was clearly engaged and focused, even wondering what could possible happen next."
Hamer was proud of the collaboration, saying that the training was "a breath of fresh air."
"I even had a co-worker call some of it 'a bit corny' while recommending it wholeheartedly," said Hamer. "Because that is how the audience seems to be remembering the content."
Response from the community was overwhelmingly positive. Heidi Eshleman said the "skits really hammer the information home and make mandatory training easier to deal with."
JMTC G4 Lt. Col. Mark Evans, who attended the inaugural of the new presentation, agreed.
"This format is much better than being briefed at," he said.
NCO Academy Commandant Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers urged JMTC to "Keep it! It kept the crowd awake and involved."
JMTC Intelligence and Security and the GPAC will continue the new presentation format for the remainder of the fiscal year 2013 and are already looking toward how they can improve and expand upon the concept for the future.
"We really look forward to our next sessions scheduled for January 30th and 31st," said Rebekah Madden, assistant GPAC director. "If you missed the most recent performance, there are three quarterly sessions remaining."
Dates and times are listed below:
2nd Quarter, FY13
Jan. 30, 9-11:30 a.m. at the Main Post Tower Theater, Bldg 620
Jan. 31, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Rose Barracks Post Theater, Bldg 354