International Affairs Programs: The Air Force Versus the Army
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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Building international partnership and cooperation is a major objective in the United States National Security Strategy NSS. The primary conduit for the Air Force and Army to implement those international affairs programs are Air Force Regional Affairs Strategist RAS and Army Foreign Area Officers programs. These programs were created in response to Department of Defense DoD Directive 1315.17 and DoD Instruction 1315.20, which directs the formation of Foreign Assistance Officers to support international affairs. These programs, however, were not created the same. If RASFAO programs are not effectively meeting the objectives as outlined in Department of Defense DoD Directive 1315.17 and DoD Instruction 1315.20, the result is personnel who do not possess the regional expertise, cultural awareness and appropriate training to implement Security Cooperation, Building Partner Capacity BPC and other international affairs programs. An evaluation research framework was utilized to determine if the Army FAO or the Air Force RAS program better fulfilled the objectives set by DoD Directive 1315.17 and DoD Instruction 1315.20 for international affairs programs. An analysis of the results showed that both programs require improvements, but the Army FAO program exceeded the Air Force RAS program in many areas. Recommendations for improvement for the Air Force RAS program included creating a single-track RAS program, creating a RAS Reserve Component, creating a NCO RAS career field and providing a common name as other services. These improvements would result in professionals who are better qualified to implement Security Cooperation and BPC programs.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations