Osan public affairs staff seeks outreach volunteers
October 12, 2005
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Now and then the public affairs staff from Osan Air Base gets out into local schools and other places to tell the Korean public about the base and what airmen here do.
And when South Korean or other visitors come in for official tours of the base, it’s that same Air Force public affairs staff that shows them around and talks about the base and the role it plays in the defense of South Korea.
Now, the public affairs staff at Osan’s 51st Fighter Wing wants to involve airmen from other parts in the wing in helping tell the Osan story.
The staff has put out a call for volunteers to come out and talk about their Air Force jobs and their lives in the military, said Capt. Stacie Shafran, of the wing’s public affairs office. The volunteers would be called community outreach unit representatives.
“We’re looking for motivated members of Team Osan who are excited about their jobs and who want to explain the mission of the wing if we host visitors or if we actually go out into the community and talk,” Shafran said.
Located in the Songtan district of Pyeongtaek City in west-central South Korea, the base lies 48 miles south of Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.
The base is home to the 51st Fighter Wing, whose fighter squadrons fly the F-16 fighter, the A-10 attack plane, and is headquarters of the U.S. 7th Air Force, an Army Patriot missile brigade, and other U.S. and South Korean air force units.
Volunteers can be of any rank — junior enlisted, noncommissioned officers, officers — and there’s no deadline to sign up, Shafran said.
“I’m just looking for smart, articulate, professional airmen who are excited about what they do and who want to interact with our base population and also with our local community,” she said.
“With the turnover rate here as high as it is, we’re just looking for people who are here for six months to a year,” Shafran said. “And it’s good to have a large bank of people. The more people we have, the more volunteers we can count on.”
Volunteers needn’t worry about what to say or how to handle the speaking assignment, said Shafran. The public affairs staff will get them ready.
“We would probably just tell them, ‘These are the people that you’re going to talk to today.’ … What’s good to talk about, what’s not," she said.
“If we want to talk to first-graders, obviously you want to keep it at their level.”
Volunteers can talk about their job and what path they took to get into the military, she added, “and they can answer maybe generic questions about Osan Air Base — obviously, stay within their lane.”
Giving the public a chance to hear from airmen can add an extra “flavor” to base community relations events such as tours and school visits, Shafran said.
“Community leaders, they want to know, ‘What is this airman’s job?’ They’re curious. And it also gives our airmen practice in dealing with the community.”
For details about volunteering, call the public affairs office at DSN 784-4044 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.