On September 18, the United States Air Force marks its 72nd Birthday. Diplomats and Airmen have been partners around the world since the Air Force’s founding in 1947. Department of State and Air Force personnel work closely together to promote the United States and help build the air power of U.S. allies and partners worldwide. From Airmen assigned to U.S. missions overseas, to those supporting training of international partners and U.S. defense trade, and those standing watch around the globe, the U.S. Air Force strengthens every aspect of what the State Department does to promote international peace and security.
To further strengthen our collaboration, 24 Airmen work at the Department of State as Military Advisors. These officers have a range of diverse portfolios and skills such as pilots, navigators, intelligence, logistics, airfield managers, engineers, space, missiles to name a few, and bring a unique perspective to the Department of State. U.S. Air Force personnel also provide specialized expertise to the Department’s review and approval of requests from allies and partners to purchase U.S. manufactured military aircraft and munitions, helping to ensure that we are getting our partners the platforms and capabilities they need to work with us to meet shared security challenges. Seven U.S. diplomats are also assigned to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and to Air Force elements of the U.S. regional combatant commands to serve as Foreign Policy Advisors offering diplomatic support and insights to commanders.
The U.S. Air Force also works closely with the Department of State to support training and exchanges for our foreign partners and allies from across the globe. For example, pilots and maintenance personnel come to the United States through the Department of State’s International Military Education and Training program to study at the U.S. Air Force Academy as well as participate in flight training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
The Department of State and the U.S. Air Force operate together, whether we are working with Canada through North American Aerospace Defense Command to protect U.S. territory; with NATO allies to safeguard European airspace; fighting against ISIS and other violent extremist groups; providing humanitarian assistance; or helping promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Today and every day, we are proud of our partnership with the Air Force and salute the professionalism, dedication, skill and heroism of Airmen, past and present. Happy Birthday, U.S. Air Force!
About the Author: David McKeeby is a Public Affairs Specialist in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
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To learn more about the mission of the U.S. Air Force, visit https://www.airforce.com/.