International affairs program takes off with larger rated presence

  • Published
  • By Maj. John Casey
  • Air Force Print News
The chief of staff of the Air Force recently approved a request by Bruce Lemkin, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs, to augment rated presence in the International Affairs Specialist program by 109 officers.

Gen. T. Michael Moseley announced this will be accomplished by converting selected non-rated IAS positions to rated. The increase will make it significantly easier for pilots, navigators, air battle managers and electronic warfare officers to serve as political-military affairs strategists and regional affairs strategists. Billet conversions are expected to be complete by summer 2007.

"By increasing rated participation, we will infuse the IAS program with an appropriate level of Air Force operational experts," said Mr. Lemkin. "Front-line operators with professional international skills bring additional credibility and increased potential to build enduring international partnerships essential to expeditionary air and space operations."

The move to assign rated officers in greater numbers to IAS positions around the world was a calculated effort designed to ensure these critical billets remain filled at the proper rate, and with the proper mix of Air Force specialties, he said.

The IAS program deliberately develops line-of-the-Air Force officers in the 7-12 year window of commissioned service. This window enables the IAS program to competitively select officers who are already experts in their core specialties, and to ensure that they have time left in their careers to train, develop and be placed in political-military, regional and language-specific staff positions.

RAS officers, who are expected to serve more than one IAS assignment, develop regional expertise and professional language skills. PAS officers typically will serve a minimum of one IAS assignment and achieve expertise in international and political-military affairs. Approximately 75 percent of IAS billets are joint-designated. The majority are component command, major command, headquarters air staff, or attache and security assistance officer positions.

Rated officers interested in the IAS program are encouraged to visit the IAS Web site at for more information. Rated officers typically will be required to reach their second flying gate -- 120 gate months -- before being released for IAS deliberate development.

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