GUIDELINES FOR NEWS MEDIA
News media personnel must carry and support any personal and professional gear they take with them, including protective cases for professional equipment, batteries, cables, converters, etc.
Night Operations-Light discipline restrictions will be followed. The only approved light source is a flashlight with a red lens. No visible light source, including flash or television lights, will be used when operating with forces at night unless specifically approved by the on-scene commander.
Because of host-nation requirements, you must stay with your public affairs escort while on Saudi bases. At other U.S. tactical or field locations and encampments, a public affairs escort may be required because of security, safety, and mission requirements as determined by the host commander.
Casualty information, because of concern of the notification of the next of kin, is
extremely sensitive. By executive directive, next of kin of all military fatalities must
be notified in person by a uniformed member of the appropriate service. There have been instances in which the next of kin have first learned of the death or wounding of a loved one through the news media. The problem is particularly difficult for visual media. Casualty photographs showing a recognizable face, name tag, or other identifying feature or item should not be used before the next of kin have been notified. The anguish that sudden recognition at home can cause far outweighs the news value of the photograph, film or videotape. News coverage of casualties in medical centers will be in strict compliance with the instructions of doctors and medical officials.
To the extent that individuals in the news media seek access to the U.S. area of operation, the following rule applies: Prior to or upon commencement of hostilities,
media pools will be established to provide initial combat coverage of U.S. forces. U.S. news media personnel present in Saudi Arabia will be given the opportunity to join CENTCOM media pools, providing they agree to pool their products. News media personnel who are not members of the official CENTCOM media pools will not be permitted into forward areas. Reporters are strongly discouraged from attempting to link up on their own with combat units. U.S. commanders will maintain extremely tight security throughout the operational area and will exclude from the area of operation all unauthorized individuals.
For news media personnel participating in designated CENTCOM Media Pools:
(1) Upon registering with the JIB [Joint Information Bureau], news media should contact their respective pool coordinator for an explanation of pool operations.
(2) In the event of hostilities, pool products will be the [sic] subject to review
before release to determine if they contain sensitive information about military plans,
capabilities, operations, or vulnerabilities (see attached ground rules) that would
jeopardize the outcome of an operation or the safety of U.S. or coalition forces. Material will be examined solely for its conformance to the attached ground rules, not
for its potential to express criticism or cause embarrassment. The public affairs escort officer on scene will review pool reports, discuss ground rule problems with the reporter, and in the limited circumstances when no agreement can be reached with a reporter about disputed materials, immediately send the disputed material to JIB Dhahran for review by JIB Director and the appropriate news media representative. If no agreement can be reached, the issue will be immediately forwarded to OASD(PA) for review with the appropriate bureau chief. The ultimate decision on publication will be made by the originating reporter's news organization.
(3) Correspondents may not carry a personal weapon.
OPERATION DESERT SHIELD GROUND RULES
The following information should not be reported because its publication or broadcast could jeopardize operations and endanger lives:
(1) For U.S. or coalition units, specific numerical information on troop strength, aircraft, weapon systems, on-hand equipment, or supplies (e.g. artillery, tanks, radars, missiles, trucks, water), including amounts of ammunition or fuel moved by support units or on hand combat units. Unit size may be described in general terms such as "company-size," "multi-battalion," "multi-division," "naval task force," and "carrier battle group." Number or amount of equipment and supplies may be described in general terms such as "large," "small," or "many."
(2) Any information that reveals details of future plans, operations, or strikes, including postponed or canceled operations.
(3) Information, photography, and imagery that would reveal the specific location of military forces or show the level of security at military installations or en- campments. Locations may be described as follows: all Navy embark stories can identify the ship upon which embarked as a dateline and will state that the report is coming from the "Persian Gulf," "Red Sea," or "North Arabian Sea." Stories written in Saudi Arabia may be datelined "Eastern Saudi Arabia," "Near Kuwaiti border," etc. For specific countries outside Saudi Arabia, stories will state that the report is coming from the Persian Gulf region unless that country has acknowledged its participation.
(4) Rules of engagement details.
(5) Information on intelligence collection activities, including targets, methods,
(6) During an operation, specific information on friendly force troop movements, tactical deployments, and dispositions that would jeopardize operational security and lives. This would include unit designations, names of operations, and size of friendly forces involved, until released by CENTCOM.
(7) Identification of mission aircraft points of origin, other than as land or carrier-based.
(8) Information on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of enemy camouflage, cover, deception, targeting, direct and indirect fire, intelligence collection, or security measures.
(9) Specific identifying information on missing or downed aircraft or ships while search and rescue operations are planned or underway.
(10) Special operations forces' methods, unique equipment or tactics.
(11) Specific operating methods and tactics (e.g., air ops angles of attack or speeds, or naval tactics and evasive maneuvers). General terms such as "low" or "fast" may be used.
(12) Information on operational or support vulnerabilities that could be used against U.S. forces, such as details of major battle damage or major personnel losses of specific U.S. or coalition units, until that information no longer provides tactical advantage to the enemy and is, therefore, released by CENTCOM. Damage and casualties may be described as "light, .... moderate," or "heavy."