Joint Staff of the Armed Forces of Peru Trains Journalists
By Dialogo October 29, 2015Extraordinary work by the ship captain of the Betalleluz and very helpful for the journalists. An excellent opportunity to spread the word about the Armed Forces' work in areas the citizenry does not know very well, and to show the presence of the government through the Armed Forces in areas hard to reach for other government or private entities. Valuable, very instructive, it enriches all the participants; as a Peruvian woman, I feel much pride and love for my country. LONG LIVE PERU FOREVER !! Interesting opportunity for Peruvian journalism
The Joint Staff of the Armed Forces of Peru (CCFFAA) conducted two separate theoretical and practical training programs for 43 Peruvian journalists, including print, TV, and radio reporters, as well as editors, videographers, and photographers.
Twenty-two journalists participated in "Defense Correspondents – Iquitos 2015," which was held from September 28–October 1, while the other 21 news personnel attended the "VRAEM 2015" training in Lima from September 7–10.
“Throughout these courses, journalists will gain vital knowledge from Military personnel about some of the more hidden aspects of Military life, including its idiosyncrasies and actual life experiences,” said Captain Alfredo Betalleluz Murillo, the CCFFAA's chief of press and institutional image, who coordinated the programs.
“Participants can also learn more about topics dealing with defense, national security, and the terminology used in each. They give journalists a greater appreciation for the capabilities of the Armed Forces and allow them to make informed decisions when in the field alongside Military forces."
In an interview with Diálogo,
Capt. Betalleluz highlighted the importance of nurturing a harmonious and professional relationship between the Armed Forces and the press to help achieve national objectives.
“The public should be informed of all activities that the Armed Forces have in place to protect Peruvian sovereignty and territorial integrity, to support the socio-economic development of the country, and that are executed to help manage risk during natural disasters.”
Defense Correspondents – Iquitos 2015
The training programs will help journalists inform the public about the Armed Forces' role and responsibilities.
The theoretical phase of Defense Correspondents – Iquitos 2015 course began on September 28 at CCFFAA headquarters, where speakers from the Joint Staff, Army, Navy, and Air Force discussed the relationship between the Armed Forces and the press, the National Defense System, and the missions and capabilities of the Armed Forces' different branches. The practical phase, meanwhile, ran from September 29–October 1, and was held at a site in Iquitos used by the Operational Command of the Amazon (COAM).
Members of the Engineering Battalion welcomed the journalists, who had been flown to the COAM headquarters, and led them in physical and tactical exercises. They also showed the journalists communications equipment, first aid procedures, and demonstrated how to disassemble weapons.
The following day, the journalists moved to the Teniente Clavero Naval Station and were welcomed by its commander, Rear Admiral Javier Gaviola, who explained the organization, functions, and tasks carried out by Military personnel in that part of the Amazon. Later, the journalists traveled by boat to the Traveling Social Action Platform (PIAS) in the province of Morona to observe the work that the Navy conducts on the floating platform for various government ministries. The Navy provides logistical support for a wide array of humanitarian, health, and education services, including medical consultations, dental procedures, minor surgeries, gynecological examinations, and medical imaging; it also provides Hygienic Service Areas for the medical services provided, an office for a branch of the National Bank, and working space for the Ministry of Women and the Ministry of Education.
Taking the journalists to the PIAS helped accomplish one of the objectives of the training, which was “to eliminate the idea that the Armed Forces were only good for Military or fighting strategies with nothing else to offer,” Capt. Betalleluz explained. “In reality, the work of the Armed Forces has a much wider scope, including civil action campaigns or humanitarian aid efforts, which benefit the population at large. Such is the case with the different PIAS, which travel throughout the backwaters of the Amazon bringing state services, offices, and programs to the most remote corners of the country.”
Once the PIAS visit was complete, service members took the journalists to the Iquitos Naval Base, headquarters of the Marine Battalion "Selva #1," which is part of the COAM's Naval component. At the COAM, service members demonstrated wilderness survival training sessions and practiced on the firing range, as they showed journalists skills to survive in the jungle.
During the last day of the course, the journalists visited Air Force's Aerial Group #42, where training focused on the Air Force's contributions to the country's socio-economic development. Participants also boarded a Twin Otter plane to fly over the city of Iquitos and do a quick reconnaissance of the Peruvian rainforest. Immediately afterward, the journalists moved to the Santa Clara Air Base, where they attended a presentation on the Air Force’s capabilities.
“During this practical phase, the correspondents learned how to interact with Military personnel during Military operations and where to place themselves to support the mission without adversely affecting it,” Capt. Betalleluz said.
Rear Admiral Jorge Sosa Crovetto, Chief of the COAM's Joint Staff, presided over the program's closing ceremony and saluted the journalists for participating in the training the course.
Defense Correspondents VRAEM 2015
Just like their counterparts in Iquitos, the second group of 21 journalists from various media outlets in the capital were trained as defense correspondents by the CCFFAA in the "VRAEM 2015" course, which also included theoretical and practical sessions related to the work of the Peruvian Military in the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro rivers valley region.
“These training sessions are important because they allow journalists to learn about the work and missions that the Armed Forces carry out in the fight against narco-terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal logging, and other illicit acts in support of the National Police," Capt. Betalleluz said. "Journalists also learn about the Armed Forces’ involvement in sustainable social action plans and humanitarian aid projects."
The theoretical phase took place at CCFFAA headquarters and covered discussions about the relationship between the Armed Forces and the media; the National Defense System; and the missions, organizations, and capabilities of the Armed Forces' branches. For the practical phase, the journalists were transported on helicopters to the Military Base in the town of Pichari, where officials provided the journalists authentic Military uniforms worn during physical training and tactical exercises.
There, service members demonstrated drills, such as descending from a helicopter by rope and conducting a rescue mission to evacuate wounded Troops. Later, the journalists visited installations from the 2nd Infantry Brigade in Pichari Bajo, where they learned of the Military's work in the VRAEM area and witnessed a coordinated operation between the Armed Forces and the National Police on Machu Picchu Hill in Pichari.
Military personnel in Pichari showed journalists how to defend themselves in case of a terrorist ambush, how to react when confronted with a possible attack, and how to handle themselves in meetings with local self-defense committees.
At the end of the three-day course, the defense correspondents visited the Naval Component of VRAEM and boarded Hovercraft vessels on the Apurímac River to observe river patrols.
Jorge Malmborg Ríos, a TV Perú
journalist who participated in the training, told Diálogo
that, "CCFFAA’s training sessions are extremely valuable for a journalistic career because they allow us to inform ourselves firsthand about the military’s processes, and we get to hear the testimonies of personnel from the Armed Forces themselves."
"It was a very enlightening training session and will be useful for my work. Not only that, but personally, it was an unforgettable experience that I wouldn’t mind reliving,” he added.