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Foreign Military Sales (FMS)

What is it?
The FMS program is part of security assistance authorized by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and conducted using formal contracts or agreements between the United States Government (USG) and an authorized foreign purchaser. These contracts, called Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs), are signed both by the USG and the purchasing government or international organization and provide for the sale of defense articles and/or defense services (to include training) usually from Department of Defense (DoD) stocks or through purchase under DoD-managed contracts. Defense articles and/or services may be sold or leased to a country or international organization only if the President, in accordance with the AECA, Section 3, makes a determination that the prospective purchaser is eligible. The foreign purchasers must be part of the national defense establishment under the direction and control of the ministry responsible for defense matters.

What has the Army done?
During FY08, the Army fostered relationships with allies and partners through the execution of more than $14.5 Billion in new FMS to include $6.2 Billion in support of Iraq and Afghanistan.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The FMS programs for Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to be intensively managed. In FY09, FMS is expected to surpass the FY08 mark of $14.5 Billion, partially due to several new LOAs for air defense programs in the Middle East. Efforts will continue to ensure our allies and coalition partners are equipped with compatible and interoperable equipment.

Why is this important to the Army?
The FMS program is considered crucial to fighting Overseas Contingency Operations. It facilitates military compatibility and interoperability with allied and coalition partners. It enhances defense industries and helps to sustain critical product lines. It may enable a surge in production capability to meet sudden combat requirements. Production costs are reduced by leveraging existing USG contracts. The FMS program supports the United States' national interests.

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