Ohio National Guard public affairs unit deploys in support of U.S. European Command
Story by 1st Lt. Jayme Aksterowicz, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (3/18/21)
Eight Soldiers from the 196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment have deployed to support U.S. European Command. They were honored during a call to duty ceremony March 18 at Defense Supply Center Columbus.
The Soldiers will first report to a U.S. Army installation stateside for a short period, for final readiness checks and training, prior to deploying to Europe for about a year.
This is a very unique mission. Your Soldiers have an opportunity to see the world. Public affairs is not just taking pictures and videos.
“This is a very unique mission. Your Soldiers have an opportunity to see the world. Public affairs is not just taking pictures and videos. A lot of people think that is what it is. They have to be experts at communication. They have to be experts at talking to generals, interviewing generals, interviewing command teams. They are going to be working with foreign militaries. They are going to gain experience that will follow them for a lifetime,” said 1st Lt. Caroline Pirchner, officer in charge of the group, to those attending the ceremony.
The unit includes Soldiers who are trained public affairs specialists that assist with internal and external communications including photography, videography and news writing, as well as media facilitation and operations.
“You really have an amazing team, and this is an amazing mission they are about to take on. This team will tell the Army story, and it’s a good story,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas E. Moore II, Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army.
The primary mission of Army public affairs personnel is to keep the American people and the Army informed, with a focus on building trust and confidence with the American public, deterring current and potential adversaries, and countering propaganda and misinformation.
The unit, which is headquartered in Columbus, has about 20 Soldiers. The 196th MPAD was last deployed in 2010-2011, when the unit served in Iraq.