NEWS | Sept. 18, 2018

ROK-US Alliance Continues through Unified Public Affairs Training

By Master Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay Seventh Air Force Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Members of the Republic of Korea’s Air Force Public Affairs (ROKAF/PA) leadership team traveled to Pacific Air Force ( PACAF) Headquarters to conduct periodic Public Affairs (PA) cooperation training Sept. 11-13.

During the visit, aimed at facilitating relationships and dialogue between ROKAF/PA and their U.S. counterparts, Col. Sang-ky Lee, Chief of Public Affairs, ROKAF/HQ and Capt. Sang-bum Nam, ROKAF PA officer, received an introduction in the missions of PACAF/PA and Seventh Air Force.

“I really wanted to focus on the PA mission and our core capabilities as a PA office,” said Capt. James Moore, PACAF/PA. “Including Strategic Communication and the guiding principles that are provided by our commander.”

In addition to providing context into the way AF PAs communicate, the purpose of the visit was to foster an environment to enhance PA cooperation discussions, facilitate dialogue, and to share best practices as the U.S. and ROK continue to pursue peace on the peninsula.

“One of my most memorable experiences was during my time working in the ROK Ministry of Defense PA during a crisis; what made it bearable was the relationships I built with U.S. PAs,” said Lee. “When needle meets the needle, that’s when needle action and real production happens and I’m glad I get the opportunity to help do that before it’s needed.”

During the meeting, Lee and Nam, also met with professionals from the PACAF/PA, PACAF Band, PACAF Historian, Indo-pacific Command, 7th AF, and the Korean International Affairs Liaison and discussed future ways to engage on the Korean Peninsula.

PACAF and INDOPACOM senior PA leaders expressed the importance of communicating in an integrated, synchronized, and purposeful way to build a united PA system capable of achieving common operational goals in case of emergencies and bilateral operations.

“I think the most important thing to take away from this meeting is to ensure our words align with our actions,” said Lt. Col. Megan Schafer, Director PACAF/PA. “Whether its PA owned, or Information Operations owned, or it’s purely a community relations event, it all needs to be meeting the same objective.”

Lee also expressed their need for continued joint training as they move to make the ROKAF PA career field a more permanent part of future military operations.

The entire visit wasn’t all business as the Lee and Nam also visited numerous monuments dedicated to the men and women who fought in World War II and the Korean War.

“It was an honor to see these places that remind us of our alliance and how far we have come,” said Nam. “We are excited to do our best to continue to uphold our alliance and friendship through Public Affairs operations.”