With the first coverage of the return of a Fallen Hero after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates overturned an 18-year ban of media coverage of the transfers, I want to pass on some information that may be helpful for photojournalists and media outlets wishing to cover the ceremonies. The Department of Defense has posted the following media advisory to explain basic rules and procedures.
Photojournalists interested in being notified about the return of Fallen Heros should write to the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center Public Affairs office:. The DOD requires that the e-mail include their name, media organization and e-mail address, plus the name, phone number, and email address of their immediate supervisor.
In several of the stories, the DOD reports that they discussed the policy with
several military support organizations for a policy change that, under strictly delineated conditions, allows media filming of dignified transfer operations of fallen servicemembersâ€™ remains at Dover Air Force Base.
Interestingly, the releases make no note of discussing the policy with media groups, although several press agencies were involved in a couple of conference calls on the policy.
Here are some other links related to the transfer policy:
Gates Signs Policy Change for Dignified Transfer Operations at Dover
Military Support Groups Provided Input for Dover Policy Change