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Air Force security cooperation knowledgebase.

Many United States Air Force organizations are independently and simultaneously pursuing security cooperation goals. These efforts however, are not always coordinated, and frequently this lack of synchronized planning, strategy, and common information hinders the goal of building and sustaining security cooperation relationships. Additionally, Air Force security cooperation personnel are not always aware of the concurrent, in-theater, security cooperation activities of ambassadors, combatant and component commands, other branches of the armed forces, and various U.S. governmental agencies. This lack of visibility and awareness across the various organizations is the reason that many within the security cooperation community fail to gain a complete picture of all the security activities within a region.

While each of these participants certainly has a detailed overview of organizational activities in theater, until now there has been no single tool that could cut across regional, combatant, or major command boundaries to provide an accurate overview of all the ongoing regional security operations activities. What is important to one commander may be of little or no interest to another. Yet, if all the information pertaining to security cooperation were to be integrated and properly presented, an endeavor never before undertaken, one would be afforded an overview of all the activities within a region. This broad view would allow all the members of the security cooperation community to work together more efficiently in supporting the Air Force's expeditionary air and space operations.

The office of the Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs (SAF/IA), provides this overview through the Air Force Security Cooperation Knowledgebase, an on-line secure portal that integrates and readily presents all the information that those engaged in security cooperation use daily. Not merely a database or web site, the Knowledgebase is a user-driven "one-stop" living workspace and information source for the Air Force security cooperation community. It is divided into eight sections that reflect the major areas of security cooperation efforts, and is intuitive, clear, and quite simple to navigate--even for the first time user.

The knowledgebase contains fully searchable libraries of security cooperation guidance, policy, and politico-military assessments. It presents information on senior leadership contacts, U.S. and foreign attache rosters, personnel exchanges, military exercises, education, foreign military sales (FMS), direct commercial sales (DCS), and air and trade shows. Users can also find extensive guidance on cooperative agreements, technical programs, and international armaments cooperation, as well as Department of Defense, combatant commands, Air Force, and component command strategies. For users interested in conferences, symposiums, and meetings, full listings and details are easily accessed and displayed. Action and country desk officers will find various intelligence links, specific country information and foreign clearance guides, as well as the tools needed to prepare "read ahead" books for senior leader visits.

The focal point of the Knowledgebase however, is the Country Sites section. Here one finds a listing of every nation in the world along with maps, military and embassy contact numbers, country and regional strategies, country specific foreign military sales, officer exchange programs, politicomilitary analysis, and other valuable data.

Allowing the security cooperation users themselves, rather than an administrator or webmaster, to determine content, ensures that the Knowledgebase information remains current and relevant to security cooperation activities. Close adherence to the principle of a user-managed workspace has made the Knowledgebase an indispensable resource when one is seeking security cooperation information.

Access to the Knowledgebase is provided for users from the Air Force and for authorized individuals within the security cooperation community, for example those working in a combatant or component command, on an embassy staff, or within another governmental agency. To access the Knowledgebase, simply point your SIPRNET browser to http://afsck.af.pentagon.smil.mil/default. aspx, and follow the directions. You can also contact the SAF/IA Knowledgebase team:

Mr. James Odom at (703) 588-8870 (DSN 425) or Mr. David Hills at (703) 588-8962 (DSN 425)

The knowledgebase was designed specifically with the needs of the security cooperation user. Sign on and explore how it truly has become the preferred information source and workspace of the security cooperation community.

About the Authors

Lieutenant Colonel David W. Hills, USAFR, is the Senior Security Cooperation Strategist, Scitor Corporation, supporting the Staff Action Group, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 9 , a Master of Science in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1987, and a Master of Science in national resources strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University in 2001.

Major Neal A. Schier, USAFR, is serving as a staff officer to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Headquarters United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. He is an airlift and commercial airline pilot with over 10,000 flying hours in the T37, T38, C141B, DC10, B737, A320, B757, B767, and B777 aircraft. He graduated with a B.A. in computer science from Furman University in 1983. He is a frequent commentator on European cultural affairs and is the author of numerous book reviews, opinions, and essays.

Lieutenant Colonel David W. Hills, USAFR Senior Security Cooperation Strategist, Scitor Corporation

Major Neal A. Schier, USAFR Staff Officer to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs
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Article Details
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Author:Schier, Neal A.
Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
Words:890
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