USASAC manager focuses on international support
October 15, 2012
NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. -- The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command is responsible for overseeing the entire life cycle of cases for Army security assistance and foreign military sales for international partners. While many other organizations perform key actions to support the FMS process, USASAC itself is responsible for developing and finalizing the Letter of Offer and Acceptance for each country's cases. It is also responsible for implementing and executing the agreement.
"I take care of the case from implementation to closure," Steve Auchey, central case manager for USASAC's PACOM Directorate, said. Auchey handles cases for Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Fuji, Tonga and the Maldives. This year his 212 cases have totaled more than $2 billion.
"It's about getting the right materiel, to the right customer, at the right time," he said.
Some of his biggest cases have included the purchase of Chinook helicopters and Shadow unmanned aircraft by Australia.
"The Shadows were a direct delivery to Afghanistan," Auchey said. The Chinooks were purchased to replace others that had been lost in theater last year.
"Supporting our allies in theater is just like supporting our own Soldiers," he said. Auchey, who is retired Air Force, has two Army active duty sons, one who was deployed to Afghanistan.
Auchey joined USASAC three years ago, and cites customer satisfaction and knowing his support is making a difference for Soldiers, including his sons, as the best parts of his job. Auchey works around the challenges, such as the time difference between the East coast and his Pacific-based countries, which can require odd hours for conference calls.
According to Auchey, funding requires quite a bit of attention, but he ended fiscal 2012 with his funding 100 percent complete. While the majority of FMS cases are entirely customer-funded and do not have a yearly expiration of funding, some are funded through Section 1206, which falls under the National Defense Authorization Act, and are U.S. funds that are designated to equip, supply and train foreign military that support the U.S. military in joint operations.
"1206 cases expire at the end of each FY, so it's a priority to get that money obligated," Auchey said. Auchey completed 13 Section 1206 cases for fiscal 2012.
"The biggest challenge by far is logistics," Shirley Black, PACOM Directorate branch chief and Auchey's supervisor, said. Numerous factors can impact or change deliveries, which ultimately impacts everything else. "Successful case management requires constant follow-on," she added.
Auchey concurs with her assessment. "I spend every morning reviewing all my cases and then work on whatever is a priority … requisition, funding, transportation," he said.
Auchey credits the case execution analyzer -- a program tool developed at New Cumberland to quickly query, analyze and summarize case data -- with making his job easier. But he saves his greatest praise for those he works with every day.
"I have two supply specialists and one supply technician who do great work," Auchey said.
Auchey also works with the USASAC country program managers and the Army Material Command life cycle management command's Security Assistance Management Directorate personnel on a daily basis.
"The LCMCs are responsible for the materiel," he noted.
The FMS process requires Security Assistance Enterprise teamwork, and Auchey proves the USASAC motto, "Strength in Cooperation," every day, whether it's with his PACOM customers or his enterprise peers.