KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - The Theater Aviation Sustainment Manager-Europe, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, at Coleman Army Airfield, Germany, recently completed two separate foreign military sales missions as part of its reimbursable FMS program.

"We execute foreign military sales missions in addition to our regular mission of aircraft maintenance," explained Lt. Col. Tildon "Kye" Allen, the commander of the TASM-E. "Our FMS operations include executing maintenance on aircraft that have been sold by the U.S. military to other governments as part of the foreign military sales program."

The first FMS mission involved maintenance on two AH64 Apache helicopters on behalf of the Dutch military.

"We performed extensive maintenance on the aircraft for the Netherlands," explained Fabriel Ortiz, the TASM-E's deputy commander.

The Dutch military personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan for an extended period of time, and the Netherlands military didn't have any personnel to perform Apache maintenance. The Dutch contacted TASM-E asking if it would conduct the maintenance for the aircraft, said Ortiz

The reimbursable program is beneficial for both the TASM-E and the foreign governments. The TASM-E has all of its work funded, and the foreign governments are able to get the proper maintenance done on their equipment.

The Dutch military purchased the Apaches through the FMS program previously.

"Because the Apaches were already owned by the Dutch military, the government of the Netherlands will reimburse us directly for the aircraft maintenance," Ortiz said.

The TASM-E also performed work in support of an FMS mission for Tunisia, albeit under slightly different circumstances.

"Tunisia purchased three UH-1H Hueys from the U.S. government under the FMS program," Ortiz explained. "Part of the FSM agreement is that the U.S. will refurbish any aircraft sold to another government.

The TASM-E received the three UH-1Hs that were purchased by the government of Tunisia and completely refurbished them. They were torn down, inspected and then reassembled to U.S. standards. Only when they are maintained to U.S. military standards, will they be delivered to Tunisia."

Because Tunisia did not take ownership of the aircraft, they were not responsible for the costs incurred during maintenance.

"The U.S. State Department will reimburse us for the work on the Tunisian aircraft because the maintenance performed was part of the purchase agreement," Ortiz said.

The TASM-E is responsible for aviation maintenance, reset and limited depot activity for the European theater of operations.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16