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Building Partnerships Symposium: big success for AF doctrine

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jennifer Lovett
  • LeMay Center
The Building Partnerships Symposium concluded March 25 with members from around the Air Force discussing the necessity of including BP into Air Force doctrine at the LeMay Center for Doctrine Development, Education and Wargaming.

"This symposium was important because we were able to create a clear definition of Building Partnerships for the Air Force," said Lt. Col. Mitch McClaren, BP doctrine lead and symposium organizer. "It generated an important spotlight."

Building Partnerships is a change in focus for the Air Force, Colonel McClaren said. "It helps build security for the U.S. by building lasting partnerships that in the long run can keep the country from going to war."

By defining BP, the group was able to clear up confusion on what the concept is and how it fits into Air Force operations as well as the importance of building relationships with sister services.

"We came away with two things ... a broad definition that allowed focus and flexibility," said Maj. Aaron Taliaferro, an attendee from the Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs Directorate. "The bottom line is that we can't build partnerships if we can't communicate. Our recommended BP definition covers the spectrum and allows communication to inform and influence."

The symposium also recognized the need for BP doctrine, he said. "There was a holistic, overarching soup-to-nuts definition that, once incorporated into doctrine, will be beneficial for the practitioner on the ground."

The symposium attracted BP experts from all around the Air Force, including overseas, who broke up into working groups to facilitate discussion and debate.

"We had the right mix of people with the right expertise to focus the Air Force on the benefits of BP doctrine," Colonel McClaren said. "They were fired up and passionate about BP. Now we have 50 new advocates that will help educate the force on this new service core function."

The symposium's recommendations will be presented to the Air Force Doctrine Advisory Working Group, a forum for guiding doctrinal issues for the Air Force, as part of the process for including BP into Air Force doctrine.

"Part of the symposium's objective was to identify BP issues and recommendations for the Air Force Doctrine Advisory Working Group that is happening next month, and we were able to accomplish that," said Maj. Kelley Thibodeau, SAF Public Affairs officer.