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Defense News, Information Now Customized for Mobile Devices

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2007 – Defense Department news releases, articles and other information are now available in a new format that’s customized for easier viewing on BlackBerries and other mobile devices, officials said.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, new media operations manager at American Forces Information Service, demonstrates how Defense Department public and internal information can now be accessed via BlackBerry and other mobile devices. The new mobile-access system enables customers to view the same information and many of the photos and graphics that appear on the Defenselink Web page. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The new, mobile-device-friendly format can be accessed at www.dod.mil/mobile, officials affiliated with the project said.

“Having the ability to access the most current Defense Department information while you are on the go is especially important in the fast-paced communications world in which we live,” Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications and public liaison, said.

Offering a mobile-device-friendly format to disseminate defense information “is another way we are trying to better serve our globally based audiences, providing them the most up-to-date news and information on the war on terror and other related activity,” Barber said.

The new format is specifically condensed to better fit onto the tiny viewing screens featured by most mobile devices, said Tom Dorsz, Web production supervisor at American Forces Information Service.

Mobile device usage is increasing worldwide, Dorsz said, noting that BlackBerries and similar devices enable access to Internet-sourced information anywhere at anytime.

Maximizing and integrating new technology is the mission of the new media team, said Roxie Merritt, director of DoD’s new media unit.

“On your mobile device Web browser, simply type in www.dod.mil/mobile to view the top news and press releases that are customized to fit your screen,” Merritt said.

Customers will see much of the same information and many of the photos and graphics that appear on the regular Defenselink Web page, available at www.dod.mil, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, AFIS’s new media operations manager, said.

The new mobile system enhances DoD’s mission to inform the public of its policies, as well as to communicate with servicemembers, defense civilians, retirees, and their families, Dorsz said.

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Allison Barber

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