Brig. Gen. Joel W. Safranek is the Director of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate, and dual-hatted as Director of International Affairs, Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The directorate is AFMC’s Foreign Military Sales enterprise focal point charged with administering a more than $249 billion security assistance portfolio supporting 99 countries, eight NATO agencies and one regional organization.
General Safranek hails from Cave Creek, Arizona, and received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1996. He has served in a variety of positions at the squadron, group and wing level, to include detachment, squadron and wing command. He has deployed in support of Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel, Renewal of Hope, Resolute Support, Noble Eagle, Inherent Resolve, and Deep Freeze.
General Safranek is a command pilot with over 3,500 hours, in both airlift and tanker aircraft; and has been qualified as a contingency response element commander, title 10 deputy dual status commander, director of mobility forces, and joint task force-port opening commander. Prior to this assignment, he was the Director of the Defense Personal Property Management Office at United States Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
1996 Bachelor of Science in Management, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2002 Master of Science in International Business Management, Troy State University, Troy, Ala.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2008 Master of Military Studies, Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
2011 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2014 National Security Fellowship Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2015 Joint Task Force Commander’s Course, Peterson AFB, Colo.
2015 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, Naval Station Norfolk, Va.
2016 Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership, San Diego, Calif.
2020 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flager Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
1. September 1996–September 1997, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
2. October 1997–February 1998, Student, KC-135R/T Initial Pilot Qualification Course, 55th Air Refueling Squadron, Altus AFB, Okla.
3. February 1998–September 2000, Rodeo Team Pilot, Standardization and Evaluation Liaison Officer, and KC-135R Aircraft Commander, 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan
4. September 2000–April 2002, Flight Commander, Chief of Training and KC-135R/T Instructor Pilot, 911th Air Refueling Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
5. April 2002–September 2003, Assistant Flight Commander and KC-135R/T Instructor Pilot, 6th Operations Support Squadron, MacDill AFB, Fla.
6. September 2003–October 2004, Assistant Chief of Operations Group Standardization and Evaluation, and KC- 135R/T Evaluator Pilot, 6th Operations Group, MacDill AFB, Fla.
7. November 2004–April 2005, Student, C-17A Initial Aircraft Commander Qualification Course, 58th Airlift Squadron, Altus AFB, Okla.
8. April 2005–May 2006, Assistant Director of Operations and C-17A Aircraft Commander, 7th Airlift Squadron, McChord Air Force Base, Wash. (deployed, February 2006–May 2006, Detachment Commander and C-17A Aircraft Commander, 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Incirlik AB, Turkey)
9. May 2006–June 2007, Wing Executive Officer and C-17A Instructor Pilot, 62nd Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
10. July 2007–June 2008, Student, U.S.M.C. Command and Staff College, Quantico Marine Base, Va.
11. June 2008–June 2009, Integration Branch Chief, Capabilities Based Planning Division, Operations, Plans and Requirements Directorate, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
12. June 2009–June 2010, Executive Officer, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
13. July 2010–June 2011, Director of Staff and Chief of Safety, 615th Contingency Response Wing, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
14. June 2011–June 2013, Commander, 573rd Global Support Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
15. July 2013–June 2014, National Security Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
16. July 2014–April 2016, Deputy Director, Requirements, Analysis and Resources Directorate (N-NCJ8), NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
17. April 2016–May 2018, Vice Commander, 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base McGuire- Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (deployed, August 2017–December 2017, Deputy Director of Mobility Forces, U.S. Air Forces Central, 609th Combined Air Operations Center, Al Udeid AB, Qatar)
18. May 2018–January 2020, Commander, 436th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, Del.
19. January 2020–August 2021, Deputy Director (Military), Strategic Plans, Policy and Logistics Directorate (TCJ5/4), U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
20. August 2021–November 2022, Director, Defense Personal Property Management Office (TCJ9), U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
21. November 2022 – present, Director, Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate; and Director, International Affairs, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2014–April 2016, Deputy Director, Requirements, Analysis and Resources Directorate (N-NCJ8), NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., as a lieutenant colonel and colonel
2. January 2020–August 2021, Deputy Director, Strategic Plans, Policy and Logistics (TCJ5/4), U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill., as a colonel
3. August 2021–November 2022, Director, Defense Property Management Office (TCJ9), U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill., as a colonel and brigadier general
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 3,500
Aircraft flown: T-37B, T-1A, KC-135R/T, C-17A and C-5M
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor device, silver oak leaf cluster, and four oak leaf clusters
2007 Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College
2011 Commanded Air Mobility Command’s Mobile Command and Control Unit of the Year
2012 Commanded Air Mobility Command’s Contingency Response Unit of the Year
(Current as of December 2022)