By Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Schriever Judge Advocate personnel hosted the Air Force Operations and International Law Directorate British exchange officer here March 2 as part of her Air Force Space Command orientation visit.
Squadron Leader Joanne Swainston visited Schriever as part of a wider orientation visit to get a feel for the space command mission and the challenges facing its legal offices.
While at Schriever, Squadron Leader Swainston toured and received a mission brief from the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, 22nd SOPS, and the 50th Space Wing Judge Advocate office. She also explained her role in AF legal system.
“I’m based at the Pentagon and I deal with any issues that we have in relation to operations and international law,” said Squadron Leader Swainston. “Principally, I review doctrine for compliance with international law, conduct weapons reviews and represent the division in Department of Defense law of war working groups, which discusses various international law matters.”
The exchange program between the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force represents our commitment to enhance joint operations.
“The Exchange Program is an arrangement between the USAF and RAF providing for the reciprocal exchange of personnel,” said Squadron Leader Swainston. “I am assigned to the Pentagon and a USAF Judge Advocate is assigned to HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe in the United Kingdom.”
Not only does this exchange benefit operations stateside, but ultimately enhances war fighting operations as well.
“The exchange program is part of a wider engagement between British Defense Staff and U.S. Forces which ensures we have maximum interoperability between our countries’ Armed Forces, so that when we undertake any form of military operation or exercise we can operate together seamlessly,” she said. “Such transparency between key coalition allies is essential if we are to continue to enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of our respective military organizations.”
Not only did this visit help the squadron leader understand the AFSPC mission, but it also helped define the bigger picture for Schriever JA.
“This International JAG visit enhanced the Schriever JAG mission by letting our mission partners see what capabilities we bring to the fight,” said Lt. Col. Richard Ladue, 50th Space Wing staff judge advocate. “Also, fostering these international relationships encourages the free flow of ideas between the 50th Space Wing legal office and our international legal partners, particularly in the space and cyber law arenas.”
Without fostering these international relationships, AFSPC wouldn’t be able to perform the mission.
“With AFSPC taking on the lead major command for cyber role, it’s a wonderful thing for us to be able to establish not just official relationships but, personal relationships. In the cyber area and in the space area we, the U.S., can’t do this mission alone,” said Patricia Vandenbroeke, AFSPC JA. “We really need to be cooperating on an international basis with our allies.”