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Air Force "road show" ensures senior leaders share common message

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Nov. 03, 2006) -- Air Force senior officers and enlisted leaders are taking the Air Force story on the road across the country.

Recently, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. T. Michael Moseley said that by actively engaging civilians and the press, senior leaders could help Americans better understand the Air Force goals, priorities and missions.

"America's Airmen are engaged in this fight in Southwest Asia, the United States and around the world," General Moseley said. "It's important for Americans to remember that Airmen have been in combat in Southwest Asia (or the Middle East) for more than 16 years now. Our leaders must continue to communicate to Americans, the media and Congress the invaluable role Airmen play each day."

As part of the strategic outreach plan called the "Air Force Road Show," Air Force leaders will be participating each month in different kinds of communications efforts.

Leaders at all levels including wing, numbered Air Force, major command, and center commanders, as well as command chief master sergeants, will participate monthly in as many as six independent communications activities focused on different audiences. Those activities include one speaking engagement aimed at Airmen, two engagements aimed at civilian media and three engagements aimed at civilian audiences.

One of the objectives of the plan is create more opportunities for Air Force leaders to speak with and meet with members of the "non-choir" public -- that is, members of the public who are not in the Air Force, don't live near an Air Force base, and don't know anyone who has served in or is serving in the Air Force.

Another part of the plan is to provide a common set of messages, themes and topics for leadership to use when communicating with Airmen, the public and the media.

While senior leaders around the Air Force already make speeches in public and conduct interviews with the media, they often focus entirely on their own local issues. When a base commander speaks at a local civic event, for instance, they may only discuss what is happening at their base.

As part of the Road Show plan, those same leaders will now include in their speeches and media engagements a set of common messages, themes and topics relevant to the entire Air Force.

The Road Show plan aims to increase Air Force leaders' public outreach efforts and is designed to help them convey common messages and themes. General Moseley said he hopes implementation of the Road Show effort will create better public awareness of the heroic accomplishments, efforts, and sacrifices America's Airmen make every day.

"We need to ensure Airmen, the public, Congress and the media all understand our Air Force priorities--winning the global war on terrorism, developing our Airmen, and recapitalizing our aging air and space inventories," the general said. "The Road Show plan will help us get there."

Under the Road Show plan, senior leaders speaking to the media and the general public will discuss topics such as force shaping, recapitalization, budget efforts, global strike, global mobility, cyberspace and Air Force contributions to operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.