Country managers provide targeted support Published Dec. 10, 2021 By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – Journeys can be difficult. Sometimes you need a guide. A case in point is navigating the labyrinth of departments and agencies, each with their own rules and regulations, just to execute the sale of military equipment to an ally nation. It seems like a full-time job and in fact, it is. The Air Force Security and Assistance Cooperation Directorate manages all foreign military sales for the Air Force. It uses Command Country Managers assigned to international partner nations to help them successfully interact with the US Government. Three command country managers recently had a discussion of their experiences on AFLCMC’s Leadership Log podcast. They were: - John Harrington supporting Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Brunei, East Timor, Palau and Royal Marshall Islands; - Mary Koogler supporting Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Eastern Carribbean, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay; - 1st Lt Lucas Tung supporting Italy and Norway. “In a nutshell, a command country manager is a person who manages all US Air Force foreign military sales for a particular partner nation,” Harrington said including the need to coordinate with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Air Force Office of International Affairs, various program offices and anyone else necessary to provide a requirement to the partner nation. Koogler related it to being the bridge for international partners. “We are the middleman,” she said. “We’re like more of a one man show, and we have tentacles that go out to everybody in a program office.” Depending on the scope of responsibilities, command country managers may be assigned to a group of partners or to a single partner. Either way, the country manager needs to have a deep understanding of the partner nation’s requirements, funding sources, ongoing programs, logistics needs and much more. “Ensuring that our partner nations have the tools to defend themselves and our other allies in that region, it feels immensely satisfying to have even a small part in providing for items that enhance global security and build those international partnerships,” Tung said. To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/jucc9lF9Jvo. You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.