by Senior Airman Erin O'Shea
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
4/15/2015 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Every
Airman has a role, and those in Air Force Public Affairs serve to
communicate the Air Force message worldwide by capturing and sharing
U.S. armed forces' capabilities on a daily basis, through journalism,
photography, video, graphics, web design and social media.
Demonstrating his mastery of abilities, Senior Airman Trevor McBride,
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, won the 2014
Outstanding Communication Airman Award.
This award is meant to recognize the top PA airman who excels in telling the Air Force story through a variety of mediums.
"Airman McBride is continuously looking for avenues to share the Air
Force mission with new audiences," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Trower, 48th
FW Public Affairs Community Engagement NCO in charge and McBride's
supervisor. "He's created multiple competitions and programs for social
media that encourage public participation and two-way communication with
people outside the fence. This alone brought in a huge following, and
feedback increased 196 percent."
For overseas bases, like Lakenheath, it's also crucial to foster and maintain strong ties with the host nation.
"Enhancing the relationship with our host nation is a lot more to me
than just a job," McBride said. "I'm given this great opportunity to
live, travel, and be part of an entirely new culture, and I realize that
communicating the U.S. Air Force mission over here gives the U.K. that
same feeling of togetherness. For them to understand why we are here and
what role we play as allies, is what keeps the relationship thriving
each and every day."
During a three-day temporary duty in Norway, McBride promoted a NATO
tri-country Nordic Defense Cooperation exercise and produced two
publications, both of which were used by Headquarters, Air Force, along
with a photo published in Air Force week in photos.
As part of his community engagement core tasks, McBride was responsible
for guiding numerous aviation groups through the base. He preserved host
nation community partnerships by leading 15 base tours and introducing
532 U.K. visitors to the Air Force mission.
"My favorite part of the job is the ability to interact with different
types of people every day," McBride said. "One day I can be flying on a
helicopter documenting a combat search and rescue exercise, and the next
I could be escorting media outlets to capture their own documentation
of what we do as an Air Force base overseas."
To learn every function of his office, McBride took part working in the
community engagement, media operations and command information sections.
"It's great to have someone with hands-on knowledge about every service
our unit provides," Trower said. "For this being McBride's first duty
assignment, he has definitely excelled, and his practical experience and
creativity have helped us build strong products. Just recently, RAF
Lakenheath was named runner-up for the best installation in the Air
Force, and I'm confident McBride's motivation helped make that
McBride also actively engages with the Airmen in his office to provide feedback and suggestions to the newer photographers.
PA provides photographic services in support of security forces, Air
Force Office of Special Investigations, and other emergency response
agencies. In order to provide quality images, McBride took on the task
as a one of the primary alert photography trainers to ensure 10 office
personnel could proficiently perform their jobs at a moment's notice.
Because of his broad knowledge of alert photography, McBride was called
upon as a first responder during the January 2014 crash of an HH-60G
Pave Hawk assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron. He provided more than 50
hours of on-scene documentation to the investigation board which proved
critical to determine the cause of the incident.
"An important aspect in Public Affairs is communicating our wing
commander's objective," McBride said. "To have a base commander like
Col. Novotny, one that's so invested in what you do and gets to know you
as a person, is what really motivates me to ensure his objectives are
met through every possible communication outlet I can think of."
Although Public Affairs is a small career field, there remains a high
level of competition among the Airmen. Dedicating extra hours and having
a strong desire to learn as much as possible about the craft, can make
competitors stand out amongst their professional peers.
"I'm honored to have been given this award," McBride stated. "I couldn't
have done this without the help of my mentors from around the Air Force
and my leadership and peers at RAF Lakenheath."