Dept. of Defense reorganizes comms function

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defense (DOD) on Monday officially put all of its internal communications, including TV and radio broadcasts, print publications, and Web sites, under a single command called the Defense Media Activity (DMA).

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defense (DOD) on Monday officially put all of its internal communications, including TV and radio broadcasts, print publications, and Web sites, under a single command called the Defense Media Activity (DMA).

Robert Hastings, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said that combining the internal communications of the various military services will permit greater efficiency and help it provide greater and broader coverage to the DOD community.

“We'll be an organization that delivers more information more quickly and with more innovation," he said. "If we get it right, no one will notice the changes -- that we're getting faster and more informative and using new media.”

The DOD plans to build a $63 million headquarters at Fort Meade, MD, for the command, which will open in 2011, housing all of the roughly 600 internal communications DoD staff in the DC area. The new facility includes a planned “media lab” at the facility that will permit more innovative experimentation with podcasts, Webcasts, and more, Hastings added. The combined agencies have an annual budget of about $220 million.

Communications operations that will fall under the new command, which was mandated by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, include the Army Broadcasting Service, Soldiers Radio/TV, the Soldiers Media Center, the Naval Media Center, the Air Force news Agency, Marine Corps internal information assets, the Army/Air Force Hometown News Service, and the American Forces Information Service.

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