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Air Force to allow social media sites

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Air Force is opening the Air Force network to allow access to Internet-based social-networking sites.

Initial access became available at five Pacific Air Forces bases March 30 and 24th Air Force will begin opening sites Air Force-wide later in April.

This change in policy is a result of the Department of Defense Directive- Type Memorandum 09-026 - Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-based Capabilities, issued Feb. 25.

"The keys to success for social networking are compliance, good supervision and common sense. Like any privilege, social networking will work best when people comply with the regulations, such as OPSEC, and understand that their duties come before social networking," said Lt. Col. Daniel Steele, 45th Space Communications Squadron commander at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.  "Supervisors must continue to guide users, providing sensible boundaries and enforcement, to ensure the mission comes first and their subordinates use common sense and make smart choices. We are all cyber warriors, and the defense of the nation's information belongs to each and every one of us."

According to the DoD, Internet-based social-networking services have become integral tools for all manner of operations across the military services and in collaboration with other
federal agencies and the public.

"As we leverage these new technologies, it is imperative that all Air Force personnel practice safe online activity to protect the network," said Gen. C. Robert Kehler, Air Force Space Command commander. "The Air Force views the use of social media sites as a positive way to communicate and conduct business. Social media and other emerging technologies provide an increasingly important means of communication and collaboration."

According to various regulations, Air Force personnel cannot post any classified or sensitive information and must follow the guidelines for appropriate social media and Internet use. The inappropriate posting of information on the AFNET and any other OPSEC violations will be punishable by Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Personal use must be of reasonable duration and frequency that have been approved by supervisors and do not adversely affect performance of official duties, overburden systems or reflect adversely on the Air Force.

All Air Force personnel and their families can get the most up-to-date Air Force information from Social Media Sites to be allowed Social, from cover Web sites on the Air Force's Official Social Media Directory at www.af.mil/socialmedia.asp.

(Additional information provided by Daniel Wade, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs office.)