Foreign security assistance officers visit Redstone
March 12, 2014
Through the execution of security assistance programs and foreign military sales, or FMS cases, the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command maintains relationships with 145 countries around the globe.
A delegation of military officers from more than a dozen of those countries visited USASAC Feb. 19-21 to get a closer look at the Army acquisition process while fostering better working relationships in the execution of FMS cases.
The countries represented included Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Jordan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
During the three-day event, the Security Assistance Liaison Officers, or SALOs, met face-to-face with USASAC regional directors and country program managers responsible for implementing and executing each country's particular FMS cases.
"The purpose of bringing in the SALOs was to show them how USASAC uses the entire Army acquisition process to execute FMS cases," USASAC operations specialist Dwight Carr said. His expectations were that SALOs would see how USASAC manages the FMS work, and the kind of research and development involved in the U.S. acquisition process.
"We feel that exposing them to the process will ultimately help them in their jobs as liaison officers," he said.
Besides meeting with USASAC officials, FMS case workers from the Army Materiel Command's life cycle management commands and Program Executive Office STRI also provided case updates and addressed special circumstances involving issues the SALOs may have about their cases.
The primary role of most of the SALOs is to address the logistical side of their country's FMS cases. But as part of their visit to Redstone they were afforded the opportunity to get a close look at some of the advances in U.S. military technology. At the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center's Prototype Integration Facility and AMRDEC's Software Engineering Directorate, the SALOs were given a tour of the facilities and static displays, as well as hands-on experience with interactive displays.
Capt. Paul Walsh, the Canadian SALO, said even though he doesn't deal with the technical side of his country's FMS cases, there are some real benefits in trips like this.
"You?'ve got to remember your budget - your research and development budget - is so much larger than ours," Walsh said. "This allows us to see and give feedback to our country what possible ideas are out there, which way we could look at going in the future. So I?'d say that was the benefit."