Pfc. Brittany Crocker (right), a broadcast journalist with the 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, participated in a training exercise in the Republic of Panama. Crocker, and other unit members, taught public affairs skills to several public affairs professional's in Panama (Submitted photo).
Staff Sgt. Christopher Robertson
PANAMA CITY, Panama - Members of the Missouri National Guard public affairs team brought their skills and expertise to an event in the Republic of Panama hosted by the State Partnership Program last week.
Maj. Tamara Spicer, the state public affairs officer for the Missouri National Guard, said that she learned about the different agencies in Panama and about the experiences that they face differ from those in the state of Missouri.
"We had such a tremendous experience," said Spicer. "The exchange of ideas addressed topics like social media, disaster response, and the process of dealing with the media after the death of a service member. The team worked closely with the State Partnership Program's director, Lt. Col. Rebecca Segovia, to make this a valuable experience for all participants."
1st Sgt. Mary Williams, the 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment's first sergeant, presented how to do on-camera interviews with the media covering different scenarios a public affairs professional may encounter during their career.
"I've been working with them primarily on how to speak with the media," said Williams. "I've found out that their interaction with the media is much different from how we interact with the media stateside."
Pfc. Brittany Crocker started her military career with this international mission. As a broadcast journalist with the 70th MPAD, she hopes to produce videos that tell the story of the Soldiers and Airmen of the Missouri National Guard.
"I got a lot of experience with equipment and new situations I was previously unfamiliar with," Crocker said. "I'm better equipped to do my job. I had a great experience working with the Panamanians and showing them how to better work with the media during on-camera interviews."
A week after the completion of this event, one of the Panamanian participants used his experiences in a training simulation called Panamax. Christian Quiroga, public relations at the Civil Protection in Panama (SINAPROC) said he used a few things he learned in the workshop in a simulation with the U.S. Embassy.
"In the Panamax simulation we had a mock press conference, my role was that of a journalist questioning about rumors of a foray into the affected area." Said Quiroga.
In 1996 the state of Missouri and Panama became state partners and since have completed over 28 training missions and 75 partnerships events including 911 call centers and law enforcement training, vehicle maintenance, emergency response, aviation capabilities, the U.S. Justice System, Counter Drug Operations and the Department of Education.
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please visit www.moguard.com and our social media sites: www.facebook.com/Missouri.National.Guard; www.twitter.com/Missouri_NG; www.youtube.com/MoNationalGuard; www.myspace.com/missouri_ng; www.flickr.com/photos/missouriguard; www.moguard.com/blog; www.pinterest.com/monationalguard/
Maj. Tamara Spicer, the state public affairs officer for the Missouri National Guard, is part of a public affairs team that travelled to Panama to share public affairs skills and expertise with several different Panamanian agencies (submitted photo).