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Air Force to honor international contributions

7/10/2008 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The secretary of the Air Force has established an annual award to honor outstanding and innovative contributions to international affairs.

Launched in January, the Air Force International Affairs Excellence Award recognizes the one Air Force person judged to be most effective in building, sustaining, expanding and guiding enduring international relationships.

"It highlights the achievements of someone who has worked diligently with our Air Force's international partners to build the capacity, interoperability and the will necessary to support coalitions that benefit common security interests," said Bruce S. Lemkin, the Air Force's deputy under secretary, international affairs.

"In today's dynamic security environment, there is no substitute for cooperation with allies and friends," Mr. Lemkin said. "Each day, Airmen support global partnership programs that help shape the operational environment for our expeditionary air, space, and cyberspace forces."

Nominees may include members of the active-duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, and Department of the Air Force civilian personnel whose duties contribute to the Air Force international affairs mission. It is open to all career fields.

The secretary of the Air Force will present the award each year at a ceremony in the Pentagon. Award recipients will receive a plaque and a citation signed by the secretary. Award recipients are also authorized to wear the Air Force Recognition Ribbon.

The time period for the award is Jan. 1-Dec. 31. Nominating officials from each organization and command will submit a package, including AF Form 1206, Nomination for Award, for one military or civilian team member to SAF/IA by Feb. 15, 2009.

For details on eligibility requirements, submitting a nomination package, the selection process and the award presentation, review AFI 36-2871 at

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