AFNEWS gathers, packages and disseminates printed and electronic
news and information products during wartime and peacetime. The
agency manages and operationally controls the Headquarters Air Force
Broadcasting Service (AFBS) and its detachments, Army and Air Force
Hometown News Service, Air Force Internal Information Directorate,
and Command Business Operations Directorate. AFNEWS is the executive
agent for work-force standards and Armed Forces Radio and Television
Service (AFRTS) wartime planning for the American Forces Information
Service, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public
During a major military operation or humanitarian relief effort,
AFNEWS deploys a Air Force Combat Information Team to gather print
and electronic news reports, feature stories and audiovisual products
on Air Force support to the operation. In times of crisis, the agency
also activates and operates the Air Force Hotline -- a toll-free
telephone service that provides information to the public on Air
AFNEWS has approximately 521 Air Force and Army military and civilian
personnel assigned at more than 29 locations worldwide.
Air Force Broadcasting Service
HQ AFBS manages AFRTS outlets owned and operated by the Air Force.
Its mission is to inform and entertain DOD personnel and their families
in Central and Southern Europe, Southwest Asia, Turkey, the United
Kingdom, the Azores and the Pacific Rim.
HQ AFBS provides budget estimates for broadcasting investment equipment;
develops operations and maintenance budgets; coordinates, approves
and maintains work force standards; and coordinates the assignment
of military and civilian personnel to Air Force broadcasting outlets.
The headquarters centrally manages the operations and procurement
of all broadcasting equipment used in its outlets, and coordinates
with DOD and other military departments on AFRTS matters of mutual
During wartime, AFBS, its outlets and personnel support the AFRTS
mission of providing news and information to all DOD elements in
place or deployed to an area of operation.
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Army and Air Force Hometown News Service
The service reports on the individual accomplishments of active-duty
and reserve members and certain DOD civilians. The service sends
news releases to media outlets serving their hometowns.
More than 14,000 newspapers, radio and television stations subscribe
to the hometown news service. Together they receive more than 1
million print and
photo stories, and radio and television interviews annually. A staff
of Army and Air Force active-duty personnel and civilian employees
produce these products using computer-automated typing, printing
and distribution methods.
Hometown news service stories report military awards, promotions,
transfers, education and training achievements, and participation
in military exercises. The service has two divisions. The Broadcast
Division produces radio and television from around the world. Hometown
news service teams cover such stories as major exercises and disaster
The Print Media Division produces news releases and print news features
to help Army and Air Force members receive public recognition for
their accomplishments and retain their identities in their hometown
Air Force Internal Information Directorate
The internal information directorate provides timely, accurate and
relevant Air Force and DOD news and information to the total Air
Force community. The directorate manages the Air Force Bulletin
Board System (AFBBS), and administers the Air Force's official home
page on the Internet, Air Force LINK (http://www.af.mil). The directorate
also conducts research to determine the effectiveness of its products
and services as well as customer satisfaction. The directorate has
The News Operations Division provides news coverage to internal
audiences on events and issues affecting Air Force missions, programs,
activities. It interprets and analyzes the news value of events
that shape the Air Force and quickly gathers and disseminates that
information via print and electronic products to Air Force people.
The division includes the Airman Magazine Branch, Electronic News
Branch, and Print News Branch.
The Communication Services Division staff writes, designs, prints
and distributes products such as Air Force Facts Sheets, Air Force
Updates and general officer biographies. It is the system administrator
for AFBBS. The division also oversees the directorate's communications
research program. The division includes the Programs and Products
Branch, Communications Design Branch, Communications Technology
Branch, Research and Strategies Branch, and Print Management Branch.
Command Business Operations Directorate
The business operations directorate directs the agency's personnel,
budget, logistics, radio and television maintenance, wartime planning,
manpower and organization, individual mobilization augmentee, and
communications and information programs.
The directorate provides business operations support to the Air
Force public affairs regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and
New York City. The directorate is also responsible for DOD work-force
standards and AFRTS wartime planning.
Support public affairs by creating and delivering timely and credible
products and services. Communicate and broadcast news, information
and entertainment through print and electronic media -- keeping
the "Total Force" and families, and the American public
informed during peace and war.
AFNEWS people building the Department of Defense's most respected
organization, the leader in keeping people informed.
The Air Force News Agency, formerly the Air Force
News Center and before that the Air Force Service Information and
News Center, was activated June 1, 1978. It was formed through the
merger of several SAF/PA functions -- the Internal Information Division
from the Pentagon, Command Services Unit from Bolling Air Force
Base, D.C., and public affairs units in Chicago, Los Angeles and
New York City.
The Air Force Hometown News Center, formerly at Tinker Air Force
Base, Okla., joined the agency at Kelly Air Force Base in June 1979.
The Army Hometown News Center, previously at Kansas City, Mo., moved
to Kelly in October 1980. The agency's AFRTS division became a directorate
in October 1980 and was designated the Air Force Broadcasting Service
in October 1983.
In October 1981, the Air Force Orientation Group was assigned to
the agency for support purposes. Responsibility for the Air Force
Office of Youth Relations transferred to the agency in September
1984. Because of budget and personnel reductions, the youth relations
office was inactivated Aug. 1, 1991, and the Air Force Orientation
Group inactivated April 1, 1992.
Hometown News Service Products
Hometown News Release, DD Form 2266, is a quick and simple way to
showcase the activities and accomplishments of soldiers and airmen.
A service member simply fills out a form and forwards it through
their public affairs office to the hometown news service. The service
uses the form to produce a news release and market it to newspapers
in locations where the service member has family ties.
Print and photo feature releases are in-depth personality features,
which normally result in a one-half to full-page spread, are created
from interviews conducted at field locations around the world. They
include a personal photo of each individual and several "stock"
photos of the event or story line.
Radio news releases, out of all the hometown news products offered
to the media, are the closest to pure hard news. These concise 60-second
bites of information give the hometown audience a glimpse of a national
or international event through the voice of a local service member.
Video news releases are 90-second television feature stories generated
from field interviews with individual soldiers and airmen around
the world involved in newsworthy events or activities. The hometown
service tailors the releases to each broadcast outlet's tape format
requirements, and includes font information, a suggested anchor
introduction and a script.
Holiday Greetings are short, 10-15 second messages available in
both video and audio. The Holiday Greetings Program involves three
teams -- Mediterranean, Pacific and European -- who set up cameras
and microphones at overseas bases, outposts and aboard ships to
allow soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines the chance to send video
greetings to family and friends back home.
Obtaining Internal Information Products
Air Force Bulletin Board System gives the public affairs community
instant access to the latest Air Force internal information products
24 hours a day.
Written products are available in plain text format so they can
be downloaded to any computer and imported into any word processor
or desktop publishing program. Digital photographs, information
graphics and other artwork are available for Macintosh and MS-DOS
Air Force Link is the Air Force's official home page on the World
Wide Web. The home page offers almost all AFNEWS internal information
products, including print products, audio files, and eventually
video news releases. Products are available through the Internet
Facts on Demand is an automated service that offers Air Force news
and information products to anyone with a facsimile machine. The
Facts on Demand service is available 24 hours a day at DSN 224-6031
or toll free at 1-800-422-USAF.
Listserv uses the Internet to provide Air Force news and information
products via electronic mail subscriptions. For directions on using
the list server send electronic mail to email@example.com.
Air Force Internal Information Products
Airman (AFRP 35-1) is a monthly news and feature magazine. Airman
regularly publishes special reports on topics of current interest
to readers. This includes an annual almanac edition that provides
facts, figures and information on Air Force people, weapon systems,
bases and other topics. The magazine is available through the base
publications distribution office (PDO), and electronically through
AFBBS and Air Force Link.
Air Force Policy Letter Digest (AFRP 35-3) is a six-page monthly
newsletter. The directorate facilitates its final production and
dissemination. The policy letter is the primary medium for communicating
unclassified Air Force, DOD and national policy to Air Force leaders
and supervisors as well as to retired senior Air Force members.
It is available through (PDO),AFBBS, the list server and Air Force
Air Force Fact Sheets contain information on Air Force aircraft,
missiles, major commands and selected high-interest subjects. Fact
sheets are used as reference material for base newspaper staffs
and Air Force speakers. Public affairs offices also use them to
answer questions from the public, media and other government agencies.
They are available through AFBBS, Facts on Demand and Air Force
Air Force News Service (AFNS) provides timely Air Force and DOD
news for use by Air Force base newspapers (including Air Force Reserve
and Air National Guard), AFRTS broadcast outlets and other Air Force
and DOD organizations worldwide. AFNS is available from Air Force
Link, the list server and AFBBS.
AFNS Art and Photo Supplement is a package that complements AFNS
with graphics, illustrations and photography. It is mailed monthly
and availableon AFBBS. AFNS Executive Summary is designed to give
commanders a brief look at Air Force news. Distributed by electronic
mail and available on Facts on Demand.
AFNS Weekly is a weekly compilation of AFNS executive summaries.
It is available only through the list server.
Air Force Public Affairs Staff Directory provides information about
the location, duties and rank/grade of key Air Force public affairs
staff members at Air Force and joint military installations worldwide.
Distributed to all public affairs offices and available on AFBBS.
Air Force Radio News is a five-minute, weekday news program transmitted
by satellite to AFRTS outlets overseas. This program allows instant
access to timely and topical news and information for and about
the Air Force community. It also can be heard on Air Force Link
or by calling toll-free 1-800-264-2066, commercial (210) 925-7253
or DSN 945-7253.
Air Force Satellite News Service consists of video news releases
(VNRs) produced weekly on current issues. This product is downlinked
by more than 500 military and civilian clients. VNRs are widely
used on commander's access channels as well as private sector news
Air Force Speech Series are original speeches about national days
of recognition as well as special topics. Distributed to public
affairs offices and available on AFBBS.
Air Force Television News is an award-winning 30-minute
biweekly television program covering news and policy issues of interest
to Air Force people and families. The program is available in videotape
format for presentation at Commander's Call, on the commander's
access channel, or for viewing on local cable outlets. A condensed
version is offered to public affairs offices worldwide for use at
Commander's Call. The program is also uplinked biweekly via satellite
in the United States.
Air Force Updates provide the latest information on significant
issues, policy, doctrine and data to help Air Force communicators
better inform internal and external audiences. The format is flexible,
ranging from a plain, single-page update on current Air Force issues
to complex, in-depth booklets. Also available on AFBBS.
Biographies provide biographical information on Air Force active-duty
and Air Force Reserve general officers, air attaché officers,
key and senior executive service civilians and the chief master
sergeant of the Air Force. Available on AFBBS, Facts on Demand and
Air Force Link.
Commander's Call Topics is a monthly publication for use in commander's
calls that provides current information on key Air Force-wide items
of interest or importance to Air Force military and civilian members
and their families. Distributed by mail, electronic mail and available
Editor's Notebook provides base newspaper staffs tips on journalism
techniques and ways to improve the communication effectiveness of
base newspapers. Distributed to public affairs offices.
Lithographs are color reproductions (18 inches by 24 inches) of
photographs or paintings of Air Force subjects. They are used throughout
the Air Force for display in building hallways and common-use areas
to promote esprit de corps. Lithograph sets, which consist of up
to 12 individual lithographs, are produced annually. The inventory
list is maintained on AFBBS.