Joint visual inspections benefit international partners
October 11, 2013
Whether buying new or used items, most customers like to see the merchandise before they finalize a deal.
Many of the Army's international partners feel the same way about goods and services they are considering acquiring through the Foreign Military Sales process. With the current military downsizing and the withdrawal from Afghanistan, many defense articles may be determined to be "excess" and available to approved countries through FMS.
Two countries that requested Humvees, or High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, through the Excess Defense Article program, Thailand and Jordan, recently had the opportunity to inspect EDA.
Team members from the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, which executes transfer of materiel to FMS customers for the Army, and TACOM Security Assistance Management Directorate met at Redstone Arsenal's Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services to conduct a Joint Visual Inspection, or JVI, on behalf of the government of Thailand. Concurrently another team from USASAC and TACOM SAMD met with Jordanian representatives at Fort Hood, Texas, to conduct a JVI for the Jordan Armed Forces.
EDA is a two-fold approach that can benefit both the U.S. and foreign allies. By providing equipment designated under the EDA program to foreign governments, the U.S. can save money by eliminating potential storage or disposal costs and make room for other items to be stored as they are returned from theater. As EDA is utilized, there is also the potential for the industrial base to support parts, refurbishment and sustainment of the vehicles.
"EDA benefits the customer by building their self defense and combat power," Lem Williams, from USASAC's G 3/5 division, said. "It is a great deal for them." Williams explained that the countries receive materiel at a reduced price or through grant funds. Packing, crating, handling, transportation and any refurbishment is paid for by the receiving partner nation.
A JVI is typically done by the receiving country and the U.S. government. In some instances, as was the case on Redstone Arsenal, TACOM SAMD was asked by Thailand to act on their behalf during the JVI, according to Kevin Koch, TACOM's team lead for PACOM regional operations.
"Economically, it made more sense for a team already in the U.S. to do the inspection," Koch explained.
DLA receives vehicles daily and has to come up with a solution to manage the inventory properly. There are three options: Reutilization, Transfer or Donation.
"We're try to save money by repurposing the vehicles in a way," Gary Dallas, a property disposal tech at DLA Disposition Services, said. The FMS process is one way to accomplish DLA's objective.
"The JVI lets the customer view and test the condition of the vehicles and select which vehicles would best support their mission," Candice Thomas, Jordan country program manager at USASAC, said.
"After the JVI is complete the product is legally transferred to the country and shipped to them," Williams said. "And, assuming the FMS case includes the 'total package,' training and sustainment assistance will follow."
Some 124 Humvees were identified during the inspection as acceptable for Thailand's request.
"Right now, trying to find the vehicles in the biggest challenge," Koch said. Thailand's request is for 200 vehicles in total.
Jordan's team selected 250 Humvees during their inspection at Fort Hood. The vehicles are scheduled to be shipped to Jordan this month.
"It was important to have the JAF team to be involved in the JVI process," Thomas said. "It helps build partner relationships and creates trust in the overall process."