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Virtual Country Workshop: A Tailored Approach to Foreign Partnerships

  • Published
  • By Jonathan Tharp
  • Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio –2020 has been a year in which the Air Force Security Assistance & Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate has had to rethink how it engages with partner countries to deliver airpower capabilities and advance military interoperability.

One example has been the successful transition to virtual engagements to include the virtual Letter of Request (LOR) Workshop hosted by AFSAC Country Teams, led by AFSAC Command Country Managers (CCMs) and held in July of 2020.

In previous years, CCMs and their teammates would often travel to partner countries for in-person  discussions of aircraft system needs. With COVID-19 travel restrictions, CCMs developed a virtual workshop plan to engage and support all of the partner countries’ needs.

The plan began with a virtual kickoff conference. CCMs coordinated with the partner country and the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Enterprise Stakeholders all of the event details including:
 
  • General information about the partnership
  • Airpower capabilities needed by the partner country
  • Information we need to support the partner country
  • Time zone differences of United States Air Force and partner country staff
  • Schedules of key people to be included in the meeting to find a time that works for everyone
After the kickoff conference the actual virtual LOR workshop occurs to help the partner country identify potential airpower capabilities they can request to meet their needs. After the workshop, the Partner Country will down select to what they will submit in a formal LOR.

“Our partners are unique, so we tailor our approach to their needs, said Cindy Toothman, an AFSAC Section Chief. “No virtual country workshop is the same. Each one is designed with the specific partner country’s needs in mind."