The Newest Air Force Core Function: Building Partnerships
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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Since its creation in 1947, the United States Air Force USAF has participated in building partnerships BP with other friendly nations. Over the past ten years, the USAF role in BP expanded due to a major air advisory role in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other support activities around the world. Based on these expanding roles in the last decade, and the BP guidance contained in the Department of Defense DoD 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review QDR, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs SAFIA authored the 2008 Air Force Global Partnership Strategy AFGPS to guide BP activities. In February 2008, the Deputy Secretary of Defense named BP as one of nine joint capability areas JCA and thus elevated the importance of BP across the entire DoD.2 Similarly, in August 2008, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force CSAF made Building Partnerships one of 12 core functions, intending to streamline Air Force lexicon and align terminology between services and the DoD.3 Unlike such traditional Air Force core functions as Air Superiority, Space Superiority, or Nuclear Deterrence Operations, Airmen are not familiar with this new BP core function. Additionally, the organization, training and equipping of these BP activities remain immature when compared to other legacy core functions.