Virginia Air National Guard Recruiters meet potential recruits at Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show

Virginia Air National Guard Recruiters talk with potential recruits at the Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show, Sept. 14-16, 2012, with the assistance of the Air National Guard’s mobile events team and assets. The NAS Oceana Air Show is one of the biggest recruiting events for the Air National Guard recruiters this year. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

OCEANA NAVAL AIR STATION, Va. — Virginia Air National Guard Recruiters spoke with potential recruits at the Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show, Sept. 14-16, 2012, with the assistance of the Air National Guard’s mobile events team and assets. The recruiters met approximately 300 to 500 potential recruits throughout the weekend, including prior service military members. The event kicked off on Friday when the air show was being set up, as Reserve Officer Training Corps classes from colleges and high schools across the commonwealth came to meet the ANG recruiters.

The NAS Oceana Air Show is one of the biggest recruiting events for the Air National Guard recruiters this year. “This is a very large event that provides great exposure…from the ROTC programs to prior service military we have found some very strong recruits. Just as people still do not know about the Air National Guard, they also do not know that we have construction equipment and that we are recruiting prior service military,” said Master Sgt. Neil Keane, Recruiting and Retention Non-Commissioned Officer for the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron.

RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers and the unit provides a highly mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency operations worldwide.

The display at the air show included a grader and front-end pay loader from the 203rd RHS, and the equipment from Air National Guard mobile events team, including a 20 by 20 foot tent, an ANG advertising shrink-wrapped vehicle, three digital iPads to enhance opportunities for the ANG, two picture capturing iPads, and one recruiter’s iPad. The mobile events team and equipment have been to over 20 events this year from traveling the professional Motor Cross circuit, to the Spartan race, air shows and more.

Tech. Sgt. Josh Brown, National Guard Bureau’s Event Marketing Non-Commissioned Officer spoke of the picture capturing iPads. “They take a picture of the person, then that person can choose between three different backgrounds where they will be superimposed. All the pictures taken here today have the ANG logo captured on them, we send them to the individual’s email or phone and when they post them to Facebook, or share the picture with friends and family, it leads to more branding awareness.”

All the potential recruits from this event are screened, however the recruiter’s iPad has a specialized app designed by NGB that provides real time information the recruiter can follow up on immediately. The iPad app identifies highly motivated potential airmen and can directly contact the recruits via the information they provided right away, and the information will also be sent to a call center for follow up within 48 hours.

“This event provided some great potential recruits in the right age demographic,” said Brown. “Over the weekend over 550 good leads were captured and will be followed up within the week.”

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