Family Liaison Officer training video shot at Air Force Personnel Center, various locations
/ Published April 01, 2008
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The director yelled "roll 'em!" The clapboard was snapped and the film crew jumped into action -- a common occurrence in Hollywood, but an unusual one at the Air Force Personnel Center here.
The excitement was all part of a film shooting for two 15-minute videos that will be used for training Air Force Family Liaison Officers and commanders. The shoot, arranged by the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program Office in the Pentagon and contracted to HLS Productions in Baltimore, Md., took four days in March and turned local AFPC employees into actors, sort of.
"We're using real people in real situations," said John Beckett, representing the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program in the Pentagon. "We want the FLOs and the commanders who see these films to see the actual people doing the job, not actors. It's more realistic and the names and faces are ones the FLOs will actually work with."
Once the script had been written and the shooting schedule finalized, Harold Smullian and Tim Kennedy from HLS Productions flew to San Antonio. The actual filming was done by the audiovisual branch from the Air Force Services Agency in San Antonio. Mr. Smullian was the director for the project, and the filming was done by Fred Chapa.
The crew filmed at three homes of local Wounded Warriors. These men and women have all suffered major injuries, from missing limbs to loss of sight and severe burns. They told their stories of how the FLO provided necessary assistance to them in their time of need. The crew also filmed at the physical therapy unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and at the home of one of the local FLOs. They arrived at AFPC on March 19 and spent an afternoon shooting employees of the Airman, Family and Community Operations Branch Air Force Wounded Warrior program in actual work situations.
"They filmed us at our desks assessing the AFW2 database on our computers and speaking to AFW2 customers on the phone," said Brian Churchill, a member of the branch. "Then five of us sat down at our briefing table and they filmed us discussing a PowerPoint presentation. It was something we do every day and we know the footage will help our FLOs and our commanders learn what we do and how we do it."
They also filmed Ray Ramos, community readiness consultant, as he provided assistance to Wounded Warrior Airman 1st Class Faith Harris at the Randolph Airman and Family Readiness Center. These centers provide hands-on professional services such as transition assistance, employment assistance, moving assistance, financial counseling, information and referral, and emergency financial assistance to Wounded Warriors.
A Family Liaison Officer is assigned to each Wounded Warrior, whether the Airman is being medivaced from an Area of Responsibility or other overseas location. FLOs are the individuals who help the Wounded Warriors and their families in all aspects of their move from the point of departure to the hospital in the United States. They arrange local transportation, work with the Casualty Branch on travel requests and Emergency Family Travel Orders, and answer questions and help with access to military facilities. They are the warrior's lifeline in a time of crisis. Once the member is identified as a Wounded Warrior, the AFW2 team begins providing assistance and services for five full years after separation or retirement.
One of the videos, scheduled to be released in June, will be used to train FLOs. The other will be used to brief commanders and other interested parties in what an FLO does and what Services are available through the Wounded Warrior Program.
These neophyte actors may not ever get stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but to those Airmen and families who require the personal attention of an FLO, they're big stars just the same.