Moreover, given the mission above, the key to its success is logistical support.  From the early stages of the exercise, public affairs had a difficult time getting situated in an area from which they could operate in the field.  The Annex F, which is the PA section of the operations order for the exercise, stated that a portion of the public affairs detachment was to be co-located within the administration cell (S-1).  This would allow the PAO to have direct access to the commander in the field and have the Internet support capability needed to carry out its mission.   Consequently, this was not adhered to and the PA team found themselves without a seat in the Command Operations Center.  The public affairs detachment was relocated to another camp, away from the commander, and worked primarily out of the APIC.  Similarly, other Annex F problems also contributed to the logistical shortcomings such as no cell phones, no designated Internet access, and borrowed photo and computer equipment that should have been provided by the parent command prior to deploying. 

      However, the most significant obstacle the PAO faced throughout the operation was representation at the daily staff meetings.  The command staff substituted the PAO’s seat at the daily briefing to a Civil Affairs Reserve Officer, who happened to outrank the public affairs officer.  Thus, the public affairs detachment was combined with civil affairs and placed under the supervision of the civil affairs officer who knew little about how public affairs operates in a combined environment.  Accordingly, this decision added another tier to the vertical flow of information between the commander and the PAO who would typically be seated at the staff meeting.  As a result, public affairs struggled to gain support from the command leadership because they were not present at the meetings.  The civil affairs representative failed to inform the PA team of the operational events scheduled so they were not covered.  The civil affairs officer also neglected to brief the command of the PAO’s successes or difficulties in accomplishing the mission even after exhaustive reminders to do so.  Although the public affairs mission was successful during this exercise, it was due to the improvisation and savvy of the PA team and not from the command elements established to support it.  To further illustrate this phenomenon, a second example is offered.  This example is a summary of an event in New England where public affairs was not utilized. 



Case Study 2 

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