In a recent Instagram post, Senior Airman Mia Evans proudly stands in front of the mural of four Tuskegee Airmen she painted inside a dining facility at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.
The post highlights Evans’ artistic contribution to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, and boasts she has “proven to be the epitome of taking one’s gifts and serving with them. With every action she takes, she continues to raise the Red Tails standard.”
The Red Tails have been deployed since January, and social media has proven to be a useful tool in allowing Evans to share her work with family, friends and students who are back home in Jacksonville, Florida.
Evans, an elementary school art teacher in her civilian profession, is a services apprentice in the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Space Force Base in Brevard County, Florida. She’s currently separated from her hometown by more than 8,000 miles and a 13-hour time difference.
“It is sometimes difficult to talk on the phone with family and friends here due to the little privacy we have, and the time zone difference between here and the States,” she said. “So much of what can’t be discussed on the phone can be captured in a post or picture.”
Brig. Gen. Christopher Sage, 332nd AEW commander, said social media provides an open and interactive forum for service members, their families and the Red Tails community to engage with each other.
“As a wing commander, especially in a deployed environment, I believe social media provides a valuable outlet to keep us connected with our airmen and their families,” Sage said.
However, he cautioned that social media must be used responsibly and emphasized the unit’s online presence should never detract from the Red Tails mission or its standard of excellence.
“My guidance includes being transparent and accurate while protecting operational security, maintaining relevance by posting regularly, and using it as a tool to highlight our airmen and our mission,” Sage said.
He said his public affairs team manages the day-to-day use of its platforms while adhering to guidelines established by the Air Force Public Affairs office. The team also monitors the accounts to ensure follower comments adhere to the unit’s posted community guidelines.
Tech. Sgt. Lauren Snyder, a public affairs craftsman and the PA’s social media manager, drafts all social media content and maintains a posting schedule to ensure regular engagement. She also monitors monthly metrics to determine how to better leverage those communication resources.
“Ultimately, we want to be as engaged as possible with our various audiences while also using these popular communication mediums to showcase the amazing work our 332nd Red Tails complete in support of our mission,” Snyder said. “With our directive to produce quality, strategic communications, we dedicate significant effort to leveraging this tool effectively.”
Snyder said they post nearly every day and are intentional in featuring subordinate units, training, services, routine maintenance, exercises, and events that support the commander’s and AFCENT’s priorities in messaging.
“Sometimes less is more, but original content is what viewers follow. If you can share what they like, all the better, but it’s our job to tell the Air Force story,” she said.Read comments