REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (June 28, 2013) -- Using 1,026 M113A2 armored personnel carriers from the Army's Excess Defense Articles obtained through the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's foreign military sales program, and the refurbishment expertise provided by an Army Materiel Command public-private partnership, provided the means for the Iraqi Army to begin standing up its planned six-division armored capability.
"This was a win-win situation for both the Iraqis and the U.S. because in the Iraqi's case, they went from a non-existent armored capability in 2010 to plans for six divisions," Col. Sammy Hargrove, USASAC's CENTCOM regional operations director, said. "For the U.S., we divested ourselves of 1,026 M113s, most of which were stored at Sierra Army Depot (Calif.) for close to 20 years. Demilitarizing that many vehicles can be cost-prohibitive. Using the FMS process ultimately saves the U.S. money."
The estimated U.S. cost avoidance for the storage and demilitarization of the 1,026 M113s is $31 million.
"The M113 is also just a great vehicle and offers a lot of versatility. Obtaining these through EDA also made this an affordable option for the Iraqis," Hargrove, who also served as the Army team chief and USASAC liaison officer for the Iraq-Security Assistance Mission prior to his current position, said.
The M113 is part of the largest family of tracked vehicles in the world and has more than 40 variants. It can transport more than 12 troops and a driver, and can perform long-distance travel over rough terrain, while also capable of high-speed operation on roads and highways.
Another advantage of using FMS as an EDA divesture tool is the opportunity for the organic industrial base to provide its services for refurbishment, modernization and/or Repair and Return to the customer country. In the case of maintenance involving EDA, the AMC life cycle management command's Security Assistance Management Directorate, which in this case was TACOM, works with the organic industrial base to help determine the best options for bringing the materiel to the standards required by the customer. This information is used to develop the FMS Letter of Offer and Acceptance that serves as the official agreement between the partner country and the Army.
The requirements for the 1,026 M113 Family of Vehicles was actually broken down into two FMS cases. The initial requirement and LOA came from U.S. Forces-Iraq and was for 586 M113s in fall 2010.
"The emphasis was on expediency," Ryan Calvin, who served as USASAC's team lead for Iraq from November 2010 through November 2012, said. "That was during the period of transition, and the emphasis was getting the materiel on the ground."
The requirement and LOA with the Iraqis for the additional 440 M113s followed the initial agreement for the 586. The contract was awarded to BAE Systems, with Anniston Army Depot assisting with part of the refurbishment work. ANAD worked 43,084.4 core hours on the BAE vehicles. With the additional work from BAE, the total contract cost for all 1,026 was $51 million.
Anniston Army Depot's ability to accommodate the large quantity and variety of vehicles, along with its capability to meet the fast-paced production schedule requirements, made it the natural choice for conducting the work. "When Anniston was asked to improve the schedule, they stepped up to the plate and did that," Bert Liptak, director of TACOM's SAMD, said.
The work on the M113s began in February 2011 at Anniston and was conducted in partnership with defense contractor BAE Systems, which provided supply chain management. The total value of the work was more than $45 million. And according to Anniston's deputy director of production management, Chuck Gunnels, it resulted in 330,136.6 core hours for the depot. While the initial emphasis was on expediency, Anniston made a significant contribution by suggesting that standards for the vehicle refurbishment be improved.
"The scope initially had certain guidelines, but the vehicle performance wasn't acceptable. We recommended that the power-packs/engines be repaired. This was done to improve the durability and reliability of the vehicles," Gunnels said.
Willie Collins, whose final active duty assignment was as a lieutenant colonel with the Iraq-Training and Advisory Mission, and who now serves as a USASAC Iraq country program manager, also noted that transitions in-country shaped the M113 cases. "They (the Iraqis) were transitioning from internal security to both internal and external security," he said. "The need became more than just M113s, but for the MEC (Mission Essential Capability), which meant training and communications (radios), etc."
USASAC leads AMC's Security Assistance Enterprise, and according to both Collins and Calvin, the success of these cases would not have been possible without each organization completing its portion of the process in a seamless manner. "This really touched everyone," Calvin said. " TACOM SAMD coordinated the refurbishment work which led to ACC (Army Contracting Command) awarding the contracts for the work, and then you have ANAD and BAE working together in a public-private partnership. Then you have CECOM (Communications-Electronics Command) SAMD getting the radios, and SATMO (Security Assistance Training Management Organization) and PEO STRI supporting the training. But you also have TRANSCOM (Transportation Command) and SDDC (Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command), JMC (Joint Munitions Command) and ASC (Army Sustainment Command) playing critical roles."
Hargrove also noted that the number of personnel still with AMC in some capacity who were also in Iraq when the M113 cases were being worked has created a greater understanding of how important these vehicles are to the Iraqis. "Not just myself, Willie (Collins), Ryan (Calvin), but we have Tim Sullivan (retired colonel) in USASAC G3/5 (Operations Division chief) who was the ANAD commander when the work began there, Col. (Larry) Fuller, our (USASAC) chief of staff who oversaw the AMC maintenance training, and even Gen. (Dennis) Via (who commanded the AMC Responsible Reset Task Force and is now AMC's commanding general."
Collins and Calvin both commented that the cases seemed to touch everyone in the Army, and the status of the M113s did receive visibility at the highest levels.
"This particular topic was briefed to the vice chief of staff of the Army and the Army staff each month at the Equipment Distribution Review Board," Conrad Bonner, USASAC G-3/5 director, said.
Providing the 1,026 M113s that were EDA through the FMS process, and having them refurbished through the public-private partnership are self-evident benefits in that there was cost-avoidance through divesture of the EDA, while the refurbishment resulted in hundreds of thousands of core hour work and kept the skill base exercised in repairing M113s at a key organic industrial base.
"The public-private partnership between ANAD and BAE on this program was important because it provided another good example of how an organic industrial installation can work in partnership with a private corporation to provide best value to customer," Phillip Dean, Anniston's chief of Logistics and Business Development Office, said.
The cases also proved how well the process can work for both the U.S and its partner country. "The importance of completing this program to standards required and in the agreed upon time frame was to show that ANAD can be relied upon to successfully complete the assigned missions and build customer confidence in the FMS arena," Dean said.
USASAC's mission includes building partner capacity, and that accurately describes what the M113s are doing for Iraq, according to Hargrove.
"This provides them an independent capability for internal and external security. They were just so proud to have these and to have the training and other support to be able to operate these. Now, it's all about sustaining these vehicles," Hargrove said. "Which makes AMC an important part of the Iraqi's future and demonstrates its diverse global capability."