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Building Partnership Capacity through Security Cooperation

What is it?
Security cooperation is the means by which the Department of Defense encourages and enables countries and organizations to work with the U.S. to achieve strategic objectives. Types of security cooperation include:

  • Education and training for U.S. and foreign military and civilian personnel in Army and foreign schools.
  • Multinational and bilateral military exercises.
  • Exchanges of military and civilian personnel.
  • Military-to-military contacts ranging from staff talks to senior officer visits.
  • Equipping and training international forces.
  • Export licensing for direct commercial sales.
  • Cooperative research, development and acquisition.
  • International support, treaty compliance, and interoperability.

What has the Army done?
The Army’s security cooperation activities are numerous and diverse. They include but are not limited to:

  • The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) hosting more than 7,700 foreign students in its schools.
  • Staff talks, which resulted in interoperability agreements with Australian, French, German, and British Armies, and included developments in counter-insurgency and stability operations doctrine and associated lessons learned.
  • TRADOC, in addition to the major ongoing efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, deployed training teams to 11 countries in the Central Command’s Area of Operations; 22 training teams to 12 countries in the U.S. European Command; 8 teams to 6 countries in U.S. Pacific Command; and 14 teams in 4 countries in the U.S. Southern Command.
  • The Latin American Cooperation Program developing cooperative security arrangements and confidence to build measures with Mexico and improve cooperation with the Colombian Army in counter-drug operations.
  • The Medical Command training 342 foreign students in 634 medical courses in the U.S.; conducting 43 missions which directly supported the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s efforts in Eurasia; and its Medical Research Unit facility in Nairobi conducting emergency infection surveillance and research on malaria, HIV and Ebola drugs and vaccines.
  • The Corps of Engineers’ infrastructure construction in Armenia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Ecuador, and Colombia in support of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
  • The Army engineers also supporting the U.S. Department of Interior in the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.
  • The Security Assistance Command executing over $8 Billion in sales of military equipment and training to allies and partners.
  • Sixty foreign cadets attending the U.S. Military Academy through the four year International Cadet Program and U.S. officers attending 27 foreign military schools in 20 countries through the Schools of Other Nations Program.
  • The Army is leading NATO’s Defense Against Terrorism technology initiatives for Joint Precision Air Drop Systems and playing a key role in the following:
    • Defense against mortar attacks.
    • Countering improvised explosive devices.
    • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Consequence Management.
    • Defense against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Attack.
    • The U.S. establishing a Land Battlespace Memorandum of Understanding and a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) project arrangement with the United Kingdom supporting Future Combat Systems and coalition operations.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue its current security cooperation programs and activities as it looks for opportunities to build partnership capacity and relationships. The Army will continue to assess its effectiveness and continue improving its management information systems, which significantly improve our ability to integrate the Army and geographic combatant command security cooperation activities.  An exciting new initiative is the Global Partners Seminar--a collaborative effort utilizing selected international partner armies to build capacity in underdeveloped regions and countries. The initial work of the seminar will focus on cooperation with capability assessments, military training and education, and working with security forces. Additionally, the Army will continue developing security cooperation roadmaps with key Army partners in order to have a master planning document for each army-to-army relationship.

Why is this important to the Army?
We are in an era of persistent conflict. The challenges to our country’s security are complex and cannot be defeated solely by military means. Therefore, it is important that the Army continue the multifaceted efforts that are significantly contributing to improving U.S. relationships with allied and partner nations while simultaneously contributing to both their and our capacity to meet those challenges.

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