AFMC & AFSAC partner to recognize Foreign Liaison Officers for 41st year

Wing Commander Tim Lewis of the Royal Australian Air Force. Lewis speaks on behalf of his fellow international colleagues during the 2020 Air Force Materiel Command Foreign Liaison Officer recognition ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force Oct. 26. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/JIM VARHEGYI
Wing Commander Tim Lewis of the Royal Australian Air Force. Lewis speaks on behalf of his fellow international colleagues during the 2020 Air Force Materiel Command Foreign Liaison Officer recognition ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force Oct. 26. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/JIM VARHEGYI

Credit: Jim Varhegyi

Credit: Jim Varhegyi

The Air Force Materiel Command partnered with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate to hold a Foreign Liaison Officer Recognition ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force Oct. 26.

Hosted by AFMC Commander Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr, the event featured as its theme “Global partnership and perseverance, resilience in this time of change.”

Since 1980 AFMC and AFSAC have partnered annually to acknowledge the contributions of international partners and to enhance the camaraderie both within the FLO corps as well as with their U.S. counterparts.

"If you’re going to lead during challenging times you have to build alliances, you have to build coalitions, and you must have friends and allies, said Brig. Gen. Brian Bruckbauer, AFSAC director, quoting from a speech on leadership given by U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McRaven who before retiring was the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command.

“I think he [McRaven] pretty much sums up the nature of our business today, and how important these relationships are that we have with each and every one of you,” continued Bruckbauer. He also noted that both Bunch and the AFLCMC Commander, Lt. Gen. Shaun Q. Morris, who was in attendance, were both AFSAC directors earlier in their careers and both understand the business of AFSAC and appreciate the importance of the international partnerships being forged at Wright-Patterson.

“I think that this was something important that we do to recognize our partnership … This is our way of saying thank you for the partnerships and thank you for everything that we do together. The linkages that you build here will serve you for years to come,” Bunch said.

He also recognized the family members and thanked them for their behind-the-scenes support in helping the FLO’s successfully execute their mission.

“I’d like to say thanks for the great partnerships that you foster with our nations,” said Wing Commander Tim Lewis of the Royal Australian Air Force. Lewis, who serves as FLO chairman, spoke on behalf of his fellow international colleagues.

“This partnership allows us to share skills, knowledge, and equipment all of which contribute to global peace and security. More importantly I’d like to say thanks for great friendship. All of the staff across AFMC, AFLCMC and AFSAC have welcomed all of the Foreign Liaison Officers here. Our friendships help us work more effectively in achieving our mission. We’ve been accepted into the Wright-Patterson community. Our families thrive in the local area, and we enjoy the hospitality of your great country,” he said.

One of the lines of effort in our National Defense Strategy is supporting and strengthening allies and partners, explained Bunch.

“There are only three lines of effort called out in the National Defense Strategy. That’s how important the relationships and working together is to our defense department leaders and across our services, because we know we are going to do things together,” he said.

“We know that with technology changing so rapidly that we need to be able to respond rapidly together. We understand that interoperability from day one is critical,” Bunch added.

He also stressed the need to build coalitions before events occur.

“Many years ago, we might have had time to build up, and talk and figure out how we were going to do things together. At the pace of operations today, and the decision cycle, and how quick technologies are evolving, and how quickly our adversaries can act against our interests, together we have to be prepared from day one. That’s why the role you play here and what you represent by being here on behalf of your nations is so important,” Bunch said.

Bunch concluded his remarks by again thanking the FLOslos for their effort and by saying, “This is an important day to celebrate those relationships and to look for ways that we can strengthen those ties as we look to move forward together.”

Normally the annual event is held as a formal ball. This year would have marked its 41st anniversary. Despite the pandemic, AFMC and AFSAC leadership worked hard to recognize global partners. The simplified ceremony welcomed only FLOs and senior leaders.

The event was broadcast live to family and FLO member organizations. A replay of the event is available on the AFLCMC Facebook page.

In Other News