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A short primer on deputy under Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs.


The Air Force has been engaging in international activities since its inception in 1947. Stuart Symington, the first Secretary of the Air Force, charged Cornelius Whitney, his Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Civil Affairs), with managing "Air Force Functions in Civil and Military-Diplomatic Affairs," including coordinating with the Department of State and other agencies on international security. Over the years, international affairs and security matters expanded, became increasingly complex, and spread among various offices within the Secretariat and Air Staff. For example, during most of the 1990s, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Materiel) maintained oversight for the management and execution of the Military Assistance Program (MAP), while within the Air Staff, the Deputy Chief of Staff (Materiel) had an Assistant for Mutual Security. Additionally, the General Counsel negotiated overseas basing rights, and the Deputy Chief of Staff (Comptroller) had an Assistant for Plans and International Affairs. By the late 1990s, the establishment of the Deputy Chief of Staff (Plans and Programs) also brought new offices for politico-military affairs, including an Assistant for National Security Council Affairs and an Assistant for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

By the early 1990s, responsibility for international affairs had spread through various offices in the Secretariat and the Air Staff. The Air Force leadership recognized the value of consolidating two related missions: politico-military analysis, previously primarily the responsibility of the Regional Plans Division of the Directorate of Plans and Programs (AF/XOXX), and the development and execution of security assistance programs, the responsibility of the Directorate of International Programs (AF/PRI). These functions, along with other international programs such as attache affairs, international cooperative research and development, and foreign disclosure and technology transfer policy, were combined under the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs (SAF/ IA), a position that was first established in 1966. These functions were also shifted from the Air Staff to the Secretariat, as the Deputy Under Secretary works directly for the Secretary of the Air Force.

Mission and Responsibilities

SAF/IA is directly responsible for oversight and advocacy of the U.S. Air Force international programs and policies, except for specific operational issues such as global posture matters, unified command plan reviews, Operator-to-Operator/Airman-to-Airman Talks programs, and bilateral and multilateral exercises. With a heavy emphasis on politico-military affairs, SAF/IA's scope of responsibilities extends far beyond security cooperation and security assistance. Having responsibility for, oversight over, or interest in virtually every international activity conducted by Air Force organizations allows SAF/IA to offer a more holistic perspective on building and maintaining international relations. As outlined in its draft Mission Directive, SAF/IA has the following specific responsibilities:

* Direct responsibility for politico-military affairs, security assistance programs, armaments cooperation programs, classified and controlled unclassified information disclosure policy, technology transfer, export control, international cooperative research and development efforts, U.S. attache and security assistance officer affairs.

* Manages officer, enlisted, and civilian personnel exchange programs, professional military education and United States Air Force Academy appointments for foreign military trainees, coordination of senior Air Force officials' international travel, foreign dignitary visits to USAF installations, and all other international programs and activities.

* Serves as the Air Force office of primary responsibility and focal point for Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and other military departments, Department of State and other U.S. government agencies for matters involving Air Force international interests.

* Formulates the Air Force position on joint, interdepartmental and interagency, matters relating to international activities, except for operational matters such as global posture, Operationsto-Operations/Airman-to-Airman Talks programs, unified command plan reviews, and bilateral and multilateral exercises, etc.

* Develops and implements policy guidance for the direction, global integration and supervision of Air Force international programs and activities.

* Provides policy and oversight to integrate Air Force and U.S. government objectives regarding international base rights, access agreements, Status of Forces Agreements and other treaty negotiations.

* Advises and supports the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Office of the Chief of Staff, and civilian military officials of the Department of the Air Force concerning nonoperational international activities.

* Provides oversight and advocacy of Air Force international programs and policies.

* Develops, disseminates, and implements the Air Force security cooperation strategy and other policy guidance for the direction, integration, and supervision of Air Force international programs and activities.


Mr. Bruce S. Lemkin, a member of the Senior Executive Service, has served as the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force (International Affairs) since October 2003. In 1999, Mr. Lemkin retired from active duty in the Navy and became the Chief Negotiator, Special Assistant, and Senior Policy Adviser to the Executive Director of The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, the international consortium carrying out the terms of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea. Subsequently, he worked for an investment management firm as the Chief Operating Officer and Business Unit Manager, and later was an international consultant. In 2002, Mr. Lemkin returned to the federal government and served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management, until his present assignment.


Major General (S) Eric J. Rosborg is the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs. SAF/IA has two directorates and a Staff Action Group, with nearly 180 authorized billets, including approximately 100 military personnel and 80 civilians. SAF/IA also has approximately twenty Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs) billets. The SAF/IA front office is located in the Pentagon, while the directorates and Staff Action Group have their offices at 1500 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn, Virginia. SAF/IA also has three liaison offices, currently located in London, Bonn, and Paris. The Paris office is closing and a new liaison office is being established in Canberra, Australia.

Colonel Eric Herr leads the SAF/IA Action Group (SAF/IAG). SAF/IAG serves as the inhouse think tank and has responsibility for many initiatives and programs that cut across normal staff divisions. For example, it developed the first-ever USAF Security Cooperation Strategy document and maintains the Air Force Security Cooperation Knowledgebase. SAF/IAG handles all joint actions and doctrine and strategy issues, and is also responsible for facilitating USAF participation in international air and trade shows. SAF/IAG can be reached at (703) 588-8972.

Mr. Richard Genaille is the Director of Policy (SAF/IAP). The Policy Directorate, which can be reached at (703) 588-8860, is organized functionally with five divisions:

* International Airman Division (SAF/IAPA), led by Colonel Robert Sarnoski, manages the International Affairs Specialist Program, the Air Force Attache Program, and the Military Personnel Exchange Program. SAF/IAPA can be reached at (703) 588-8334.

* Plans and Operations Division (SAF/IAPC), led by Mr. Rod Shaw, provides corporate focus and management of SAF/IA's internal human resources, finances, and information systems. It also is responsible for the development of the Air Force civilian career field for international affairs. SAF/IAPC can be reached at (703) 588-8985.

* Foreign Disclosure and Technology Transfer Division (SAF/IAPD), led by Ms. Suzanne Szadai, is the designated Air Force disclosure authority for release of classified and controlled unclassified weapons systems, technologies and information to foreign governments and international organizations. SAF/IAPD can be reached at (703) 588-8890

* Armaments Cooperation Division (SAF/IAPQ), led by Colonel Helmut Reda, is responsible for identifying, establishing, and maintaining international cooperative research, development and acquisition programs with allied and friendly nations. SAF/IAPQ can be reached at (703) 588-8990.

* Security Assistance Policy Division (SAF/IAPX), led by Ms. Terry Bates, develops and implements security assistance policy and directives, manages international military education and training programs, and serves as the executive agent for policy, logistics, and manpower issues. SAF/IAPX can be reached at (703) 588-8970.

Brigadier General (S) Richard Devereaux, USAF is the Director of Regional Affairs (SAF/IAR). Within SAF/IAR are the Country Directors, who have the primary responsibility for developing, managing, and maintaining relationships with their assigned countries. The Country Directors have two primary tasks: provide politico-military expertise to Air Force decision makers; and oversee (and sometimes develop and execute) Air Force security assistance programs. Some Country Directors are responsible for a single country, while others may have many. SAF/IAR, which can be reached at (703) 588-8820, is organized regionally with six divisions:

* Europe/North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)/Eurasia Division (SAF/IARE), led by Colonel Mike Howe, is responsible for the countries in Europe and Eurasia, including Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as with NATO organizations. SAF/IARE can be reached at (703) 588-8830.

* Gulf States Division (SAF/IARG), led by Colonel John McCain, USAF, is responsible for Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Yemen. SAF/IARG can be reached at (703) 588-8956.

* Americas Division (SAF/IARL), led by Colonel Curt Connell, USAF, is responsible for the nations of the Western Hemisphere, including Canada. SAF/IARL also supports System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA) and its annual Conference of the Chiefs of the American Air Forces (CONJEFAMER). SAF/IARL can be reached at (703) 588-8866.

* Middle East Division (SAF/IARM), led by Colonel Doug Gregory, USAF, is responsible for the countries in the Middle East and Africa (excluding the Arabian Peninsula), including Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan. SAF/IARM can be reached at (703) 588-8918.

* Pacific Division (SAF/IARP), led by Colonel Richard Anderson, USAF, is responsible for the countries in Asia and the Pacific. SAF/IARP can be reached at (703) 588-8938.

* Weapons Division (SAF/IARW), led by Colonel Karl Johnson, USAF, establishes USAF weapon systems policy for foreign military sales and writes standardized weapon systems baselines establishing configurations and guidelines for allied and coalition interoperability. SAF/ IARW can be reached at (703) 588-8857.

As shown above, the Policy Directorate is organized functionally, while the Regional Directorate (with the exception of the Weapons Division) is organized geographically. In reality, there are few issues that can be resolved within a single division or directorate. The organizational structure allows the staff to matrix experts from various divisions to address and resolve an issue. While this happens frequently on an informal basis, on major issues, such as the sale of a major weapon system or the preparation of a visit by the Secretary of the Air Force or Chief of Staff of the Air Force to a particular country, the staff will establish a Country Team with experts from the various divisions led by the appropriate Country Director from IAR.

External Relationships

For security assistance issues, SAF/IA has a unique relationship with the Air Force Security Assistance Center (AFSAC), which is part of the Air Force Material Command (AFMC), and the International Affairs Directorate of Air Education and Training Command (AETC/IA). Per an agreement with the commanders of AFMC and AETC, these two organizations, while still part of and responsive to their parent commands, also serve as directorates within SAF/IA. This relationship allows for greater interaction and coordination between the staffs, and ensures that Air Force security assistance programs are properly managed and executed. At times, the appropriate representatives from AFSAC or the Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron (AFSAT) will serve on a Country Team for a particular project.

SAF/IA also works closely with the appropriate Air Force offices and organizations that participate in the foreign military sales (FMS) program, including other Secretariat and Air Staff offices, product and logistics centers, and training organizations. Country directors and SAF/IA action officers also routinely work with their counterparts in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA), and the various Security Assistance Offices around the world on security assistance and disclosure issues. But, as its responsibilities range far beyond security assistance, it also has strong relationships with other organizations. For example, for politico-military affairs, the Country directors maintain close working relationships with their counterparts in AF/XOXX, the Office of the OSD, Joint Staff (JS), Unified Commands, Air Force Component Commands, Department of State (DoS), and the U.S. Defense and Air Attaches. Country Directors also work closely with the commanders and staffs of the air forces of their respective countries, and routinely meet with the foreign air and defense attaches stationed in Washington, D.C.

Summary The Air Force has always recognized that maintaining strong relationships with allied and partner nations and air forces around the world is a critical enabler for conducting its global missions. Since 1947, there has always been a senior Air Force official responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for managing these international affairs. Today, the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force (International Affairs), with a staff of approximately 180 personnel, fills this critical role. The Air Force approach to international affairs, unique among the services, provides a single organization for all international activities to ensure a holistic approach to building and maintaining relationships around the world.

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. McCarthy, USAF, was the Senior Executive Officer to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies of the Soviet Union from Ohio State University in 9 4; a diploma in Russian Language from the Pushkin Institute of the Russian Language in Moscow, USSR, in 9 4; a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from Catholic University in 1996; a Master of Military Science Degree from U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 2000; and a Master of Airpower Studies Degree from American Military University in 2005. He is a career Intelligence officer with a variety of assignments, including one with an F-16 fighter squadron and an Information Warfare squadron, at the Air Staff and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and with U.S. Central Command. He is currently assigned as a National Defense Fellow with the Centre of International Relations, Queens University, in Kingston, Canada.

SAF/IA's mission is to build, sustain, and expand relationships that are critical enablers for our expeditionary air and space force.

Bruce S. Lemkin Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs

SAF/IA's Vision: Create a synergistic center of excellence that serves as the ultimate source of politico-military affairs and international affairs expertise for the U.S. Air Force.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. McCarthy, USAF Senior Executive Officer to Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs
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Author:McCarthy, Michael J.
Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
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