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Maxwell Airmen one click away from hometown recognition

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Air University schools have graduated more than 120,000 students since the beginning of fiscal year 2009, according to the Air Education and Training Command 2009 Snapshot.

So far this year, only 104 AU graduates and Maxwell Airmen have employed the Joint Hometown News Service program, which "showcases the accomplishments and worldwide activities of individual Soldiers and Airmen through the production of print and electronic news feature releases," according to the JHNS fact sheet and JHNS statistics for Air University and Maxwell AFB.

Program officials recently simplified the process for servicemembers to highlight their career achievements and send it home.

Maxwell Airmen can now complete, upload a photo and submit the online version of the DD Form 2266 Hometown News Release form at https://hnforms.dmasa.dma.mil/lfserver/AIRUNIVERSITYMAWELLAFB.

Once submitted, the public affairs office will receive email notification of the impending application and will review the information. After PA approval, the form is sent to the Joint Hometown News Service staff to generate the release.

As stated in the fact sheet, the program distributes more than 500,000 news releases each year to more than 14,000 news agencies across the nation and in U.S. territories. The subscribing news agencies have the potential to reach an estimated 200 million readers, according to the fact sheet.

The service, formerly known as the Army and Air Force Hometown News Service, is a directorate of the Defense Media Activity, whose mission is to provide informational products to all DoD members in audio, visual and print media formats.

In addition to hometown news releases, the program offers 15- to 20-second video and audio holiday greeting messages from servicemembers stationed overseas to their loved ones during the holiday season. The news service also produces personality print or photo features on Airmen and Soldiers engaged in newsworthy events, 60-second radio feature stories and 90-second video feature stories developed through field interviews.

According to Air Force Instruction 35-101 governing the program, hometown releases should recognize individual military achievements such as; promotions, awards or decorations, a reassignment, graduation from in-residence nonspecialty-related schooling of four weeks or longer, participation in exercises and officer commission through Officer Training School or Air Force ROTC.

Also included are: retirements, re-enlistments, awarding of a college degree and Airman or Soldier of the month, quarter or year at all levels.

To fill out a Hometown News Release DD Form 2266, visit https://hnforms.dmasa.dma.mil/lfserver/AIRUNIVERSITYMAWELLAFB or for more information on the Joint Hometown News Service program, visit http://hq/afnews.af.mil/hometown.