Joint Contingency PA Course

Welcome to the Joint Contingency Public Affairs Course (JCPAC). The JCPAC is one of DINFOS’ most challenging advanced courses. By design, this course is extremely demanding, with the typical training day beginning at 0730 and concluding around 1730. You will spend three days in classroom study. The remainder of the course is a six-day field training exercise (FTX) - note that we won’t actually deploy to the field but will remain in the DINFOS building throughout - simulating your participation in a no-notice deployment as part of a Joint Task Force. Each day during the FTX will conclude with an after-action review. The days are long but there are no overnight operations. Graduation takes place on the afternoon of the final training day and is unlikely to conclude before 1600. Do not schedule flights departing from BWI prior to 1800 on the final training day. You will not be released early.

JCPAC classroom instruction includes training in Media Operations, Joint Operational Planning, Communication Planning, Media Facilitation, the Conduct of Public Affairs in a Contingency Environment, Providing Communication Counsel to Senior Leaders, and Assessing PA Effectiveness. You are expected to already be proficient in PA basics; if you are not, you will find it difficult to perform well during this course.

The FTX is a unique opportunity to participate in an exercise solely designed to stress and test your PA skill set. During the FTX portion of JCPAC, you will be called upon to execute fundamental public affairs duties, demonstrate your understanding of joint staff interaction, perform rapid complex problem solving, anticipate and guide course of action development, conduct public affairs planning, make public affairs recommendations to operational staff and craft public affairs estimates. The JCPAC places strong emphasis on your communication skills; ability to work as a small unit and engage in professional, joint interaction; and ultimately your ability to support the deployed JTF commander. The exercise staff includes senior subject matter experts in operations, intelligence, civil affairs, information operations, and other disciplines.

While the emphasis of the course is on learning to be an effective staff officer, there is also continuous engagement with the media through interaction with tough, experienced media role players. Social media emulators allow you to practice digital engagement as part of your media interaction.

Sharing experiences and best practices with your fellow students is one of the benefits of attending the course. Feel free to bring material with you from your present and previous assignments that you may find useful during the FTX, such as checklists, SOPs, briefing slides, PA Annexes, etc. Please be aware that thumb drives and similar data storage items are not authorized for use at DINFOS. You may bring material on CDs or DVDs. You will be able to access files uploaded to the cloud. All material must be unclassified as there is no provision for storage of classified materials.

The uniform for the entire course and graduation is your field uniform. Additional field equipment (e.g., helmet, body armor, harness, canteens, etc.) is NOT required. An established dot-mil e-mail address is required BEFORE reporting to DINFOS. You are expected to check-in at billeting NLT the day prior to the first training day. The IHG Candlewood Suites front desk can be reached at (410) 674 – 7700 or 2458. For questions on the course content or conduct, contact Mr. Steven Eden at (301) 677 – 4256, or by e-mail at steven.j.eden.ctr@mail.mil

We look forward to working with you during the JCPAC. Your instructors – experienced, demanding, and dedicated – work hard to ensure you have an enriching experience and leave DINFOS equipped to handle whatever missions you may face in the future.