Wilson Center Experts
Colonel Brian Pukall’s last assignment was as 31st Mission Support Group Commander, Aviano Air Base, Italy. There he led mission support and logistics functions for a base community of 9,000. Together these units ensured the wing’s ability to mobilize, deploy and employ combat airpower. They also sustained the base’s in-place missions, its workforce and their families, and base infrastructure worth over $4 billion, while simultaneously providing security for the base and its surety mission. Prior to that, he served as the AETC Commander’s Executive Officer, instructed at the Air Command and Staff College and served as 21st Operational Weather Squadron Commander in Germany. He completed a joint assignment at US Southern Command serving as a Political-Military Affairs Officer and as the J-5’s Executive Officer. Colonel Pukall entered the Air Force in 1992. He speaks Italian and Spanish and, in addition to his meteorological specialty, is also a Regional Affairs Strategist.
The US Air Force is looking to better define peacetime building partner capacity (BPC) roles for non-combat forces and integrate those roles into a deliberate force development and career progression structure. Air Force specialties such as civil engineering, communications, personnel and services, logistics, security police, weather, legal and public affairs are examples of the types of skill sets that the Air Force is looking to better utilize in building relationships and capacity with foreign governments and militaries. At the same time, the Mexican government is seeking to deemphasize the kinetic aspects of the military-to-military security cooperation with the US, thereby creating an opportunity to look at the relationship through a different lens. This project examines potential BPC roles for USAF combat support forces, how they can be best utilized in a whole-of-government approach to security cooperation and illustrates how that might look if applied to the present US-Mexican security relationship.
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