Civilian Attorney Embodies Navy Ethos, Heads to Iraq as IA

Story Number: NNS090605-21Release Date: 6/5/2009 4:38:00 PM
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From Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- An attorney from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast deployed May 31 to Iraq as an individual augmentee (IA) for the next eight months.

"This is my eighth deployment," said Richard Barfield.
"Several while I was active duty and now as a civilian."

During his career in the U.S. Marine Corps, he deployed both as a lawyer and infantry officer. Now with NAVFAC Southeast, he is headed back to Iraq as an administrative law attorney at Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I).

Barfield exemplifies the Navy Ethos with his commitment and dedication to serving the country. Civilians and active-duty members alike hold core values of honor, courage and commitment. Barfield is proud of his active-duty service and continues to defend the nation, not only as a civilian but by volunteering for an IA.

Individual augmentees are Sailors and civilians who are filling individual billet requirements for various combatant commanders, DoD organizations and other federal agencies around the world. These uniquely talented and dedicated individuals provide key and critical skills to the nation's security efforts. They are an important, relevant and indispensable part of the overseas contingency operations.

Barfield will provide legal advice on regulatory interpretation, review of military airlift requests, coordinate congressional testimonial responses, oversee the rewards program and advise on Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act issues. He will be the action officer for issues pertaining to environmental law and personnel law. In addition, he will advise the command on all investigations.

Barfield's experiences have prepared him to work in Iraq and motivated him to volunteer for this assignment. Previously, he was in charge of a legal office in the Marines in the first Persian Gulf War, and he had been the chairman of the International and Operational Law Department at the Army Judge Advocate General School. He believes his knowledge and experience with real property law and environmental law will also be helpful.

A major part of Barfield's job will stem from the Security Agreement Secretariat under the charge of the U.S. Army major general. In the presence of senior government of Iraq ministers and officers, at the negotiating table, Barfield will review and revise all binding bilateral agreements generated by the Security Agreement Secretariat, submit legal advice and security agreement interpretation.

Barfield will likely serve as legal counsel to nine of the 12 joint subcommittees (JSC) responsible for the security agreement implementation. The nine JSC include: Agreed Facilities and Area; Claims' Entry/Exit; Import/Export; Surveillance and Airspace control; Frequency Management; Green Zone transition; Vehicle, Vessels and Movement; and Transfer of Provincial Security.

Since 9/11, more than 73,000 Sailors and civilians have served on IA tours in support of "enduring conflicts."

The Navy is making a difference in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Philippines. As IAs, Sailors and civilians perform joint critical jobs throughout the world, serve as ambassadors for the Navy and gain invaluable joint, coalition and interagency experience which will enrich their careers.

He said the approximately 14-hour days, seven-day work week duties should help Barfield achieve his personal goal to speak Arabic.

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