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NEWS | June 20, 2016

Integrating Embeds 302nd Royal Netherlands Aviation Squadron Trains For Media Embeds During Exercise

By Sgt. Aaron Ellerman 204th Public Affairs Detachment

Three U.S. Army journalists assigned to the 204th Public Affairs Detachment from Orlando, Florida, embedded with Dutch Soldiers assigned to the 302nd Dutch Aviation Squadron to cover training missions while simulating actual media embeds during part of the units pre-mobilization validation process on May 17 at Fort Hood, Texas.  

Upon learning of the public affairs assets in the area Maj. Wan Beumer, acting as the 11th Air Mobile Brigade Operations Officer for this scenario, took full advantage of the unique training opportunity.

“In any mission you have the possibility of encountering media, so we seized this training opportunity to give our Soldiers a different experience,” said Beumer.

The media embeds were given an overall brief of the mission at the Dutch operational command center then escorted to a remote command post. After receiving an orientation, field brief, and overall expectations the journalists waited for the next mission.

“I was excited to go out and do some real hands-on training while furthering their knowledge of how to interact with the media,” said Sgt. Jessica Forester broadcast operations specialist, 204th PAD.

Once a mission had been received First Lt. Stan Nelissen, platoon leader for 13th Infantry Battalion, Charlie Company, 2nd platoon quickly readied his team and media assets.

“ My plan was to integrate the media among the squads, so they could walk alongside and see some action because it’s a good way to show people what we do and the immense planning process that goes into every small detail,” Nelissen said.


The Dutch Soldiers were exited about carrying out their mission admitting that it would add a challenge having to escort the media assets.

“ The embeds posed a challenge like with any new person because they aren’t familiar with our operating procedures so we have to keep an eye on them but being that they were Soldiers we knew they were already trained in the basic war fighting fundamentals,” said Nelissen.

“I got the footage I needed and felt like the mission went smoothly overall.  They did a great job and it was a good opportunity getting to work in a multinational exercise,” said Forester.

Whether planned or unplanned, training exercises like these are great platforms for U.S. Soldiers to work directly alongside NATO partners to improve interoperability and enhance multinational relationships.

“International training like this is very important because knowledge and experience is gained all around and we definitely look forward to doing this type of training in the future,” said Baumer.