WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Airmen, foreign military partners and honored guests gathered here June 14 to celebrate 40 years of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate (AFSAC) providing America’s allies with the weapon systems and support they need to defend their national interests.
Brig. Gen. Gregory Gutterman, AFSAC director, kicked off the celebration with a brief birthday serenade and thanks to attendees.
“AFSAC team, thank you for what you do,” Gutterman said. “I’m proud to serve shoulder to shoulder with you as we provide a blanket of airpower protection to countries around the globe. There’s no higher honor, no higher calling than to be a part of this team here celebrating our 40th birthday.”
Speaking to the foreign military partners in the audience, Gutterman said that AFSAC works for them and that they are the priority and reason the organization exists.
He also thanked former AFSAC leaders including Brig. Gen. (retired) James Haywood, saying that AFSAC had been built on the shoulders of the people who’ve come before.
Over its 40 years of existence, AFSAC has seen tremendous growth and change.
When the organization started, it had around 300 employees and worked with 60 partner nations. Today, AFSAC has more than 700 employees located in five states and three countries. In addition, the organization works with 111 partner nations, and in 2017 had approximately $27 billion in sales.
Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, one of the guest speakers and commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center which oversees AFSAC, lauded the organization for its achievements and improvements over the last few years.
“There has been a renewed focus and process for AFSAC,” McMurry said. “We have improved radically in every category – the best in some categories – and I think soon to be the best in all categories across the Department of Defense. That’s a credit to your leadership team and a credit to all of you. Thank you for what you do, it matters and is tied directly to our mutual defense.”
Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, also praised AFSAC.
“AFSAC has long been recognized as a center of excellence for providing exceptional support to our international partners,” Grant said. “When I travel around the world, I get positive feedback about the work that you do. Thanks for advancing our national security and our global security by strengthening international air power capabilities.”
During the festivities, Grant and McMurry dedicated a mural highlighting AFSAC’s support of the FMS enterprise.
The event concluded with the cutting of the birthday cake by Earl Sollmann and Kathryn Chaney, AFSAC’s most tenured and newest employee respectively.
Sollmann started working for AFSAC March 20, 1978, and Chaney started March 19, 2018.