United States Department of Defense (2010-present)
The Defense Media Activity (DMA) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) field activity. It provides a broad range of high-quality multimedia products and services to inform, educate, and entertain Department of Defense audiences around the world. The Defense Media Activity is located on Fort Meade, Maryland. DoD field activities are established as DoD components by law, by the President, or by the Secretary of Defense to provide for the performance, on a DoD-wide basis, of a supply or service activity that is common to more than one Military Department when it is determined to be more effective, economical, or efficient to do so. DMA operates as a separate DoD Component under the authority, direction and control of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
The Defense Media Activity can trace its organizational lineage to the first publication of the Stars and Stripes newspaper produced by Union soldiers during the Civil War, in 1861. The DMA is one in a long line of media-related organizations established, consolidated or subsumed within the military departments and defence department. DMA was established as a result of the BRAC 2005 decisions.
In 2005, as part of the Base Realignment and Closure 2005 analysis, the Defense Department recommended consolidating the media-related organizations of the Military Departments into a single organization and co-locating it with the American Forces Information Service (an existing DoD field activity). The Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission accepted the DoD recommendation and included the recommendation in its report to the President on September 8, 2005. On September 8, 2005, the President approved the BRAC Commission recommendations and forwarded them to the United States Congress. On September 20, 2005, the U.S. Congress failed to disapprove of the BRAC Commission's recommendations. Under the provisions of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-510), the recommendations were effectively "approved".
The approved BRAC actions were to:
In September 2007, the deputy defence secretary recognized that the BRAC 2005 decision would result in two field activities co-located at Fort Meade – the American Forces Information Service and DMA – and directed several actions.
DMA’s chartering directive, DoD Directive 5105.74, Defense Media Activity, was published on December 18, 2007.
DMA was formally established on January 1, 2008, and the people and funding from the predecessor organizations were transferred to DMA on October 1, 2008. The elements required to move to Fort Meade by the BRAC 2005 decision remained in their facilities as their facility at Fort Meade was designed and constructed. The building design was completed in September 2008.
On March 13, 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, awarded a $56,195,000 contract to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Chantilly, Virginia, to construct DMA’s headquarters and media production center Fort Meade, Maryland. It is a 185,870 square-foot facility built to house approximately 660 personnel. The building was completed in May 2011 and organizations began moving into the facility in June 2011. The move was completed in August 2011. DMA elements located in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Tobyhanna Army Depot, Riverside, California, and all overseas locations remained in place.
Organization and Functions DMA is composed of a headquarters and seven operating components.
The American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) component deliver, via the American Forces Network (AFN), U.S. radio and television news, information, and entertainment programming to active, guard, and reserve military service members, DoD civilians and contract employees, and their families overseas, on board Navy and Coast Guard ships, and to other authorized users. Includes radio and television stations in military communities in Europe, the Pacific and the Middle East; and include its central broadcasting hub, the AFN Broadcast Center at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California.
The Defense Information School provides joint-service training to Defense military and civilian personnel in the career fields of Public Affairs and Visual Information. The school is located at Fort Meade, Maryland.
The Defense Visual Information component manages the Defense Department’s visual information records, provides visual information services to other DoD components and manages the Joint Combat Camera program. It operates the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC) centered at Fort Meade, Maryland, with elements at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, and Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania.
The Production component produces media and visual information products to the internal DoD family (active, guard, and reserve military service members, dependents, retirees, DoD civilians, and contract employees) and external audiences through all available media, including motion and still imagery; print; radio; television; web and related emerging internet, mobile, and other communication technologies. Also includes communication of messages and themes from senior DoD leaders in order to support and improve quality of life and morale, promote situational awareness, provide timely and immediate force protection information, and sustain readiness. Services include American Forces Press Service, Pentagon Channel, the Joint Hometown News Service, and providing internal news and information products for Defense.gov, Army.mil, Navy.mil, Marines.mil, and AF.mil.
The Stars and Stripes produces and delivers a newspaper distributed overseas (and on-line products) for the U.S. military community. Editorially independent of interference from outside its own editorial chain of command, it provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective staff-produced stories relevant to the military community.
The Support Services component provides activity-wide administrative, facility management, transportation and logistics services.
The Technical Services component provides technology services to the other DMA components, hosts hundreds of DoD websites through the DoD Public Web program, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS), and the Television-Audio Support Activity (T-ASA).
DMA is led by a director appointed by the ASD (PA) and may be a military flag or general officer, or a civilian appointed as a career member of the Senior Executive Service. The following is a list of DMA’s directors.
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