WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defense (DOD) 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 on October 20.
The DOD plans to build a $63 million headquarters at Fort Meade, MD, for the command, which will open in 2011. It will house all of the roughly 600 DOD communications staff in the DC area. Robert Hastings, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said a “media lab” at the new facility will permit more innovative experimentation with podcasts, webcasts, and more. The combined services have an annual budget of about $220 million.
Hastings also noted that the single command 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 new command was mandated by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. It will include the Army Broadcasting Service, Soldiers Radio & TV, the Soldiers Media Center, the Naval Media Center, and the Air Force News Agency, as well as the Marine Corps internal information assets, the Army and Air Force Hometown News Service, and the American Forces Information Service.