By Julie ShoemakerOctober 24, 2013
WINCHESTER, Va. - The Middle East District hosted a delegation of military officers from the United Kingdom in Winchester, Va., Oct. 7-8.
Visitors included Cmdr. Fiona Shepherd, Royal Navy; Maj. Paul Brooks, British Army; Capt. William Macgill, British Army; and Flight Lt. David Littlemore, Royal Air Force.
Along with District personnel, the U.K. military customers met with Headquarters USACE and liaison officers from their embassy in Washington, D.C.
Discussions centered around the current status of projects the U.K. has with USACE which include a new headquarters facility and ship maintenance building for the Royal Navy in Bahrain, co-located with the facilities the District is constructing for the U.S. Navy. The group also discussed potential future support and strengthening the partnership between the two militaries.
"This is the U.K.'s first foreign military sales case with USACE for the delivery of infrastructure works," said Project Manager Jason Thomas, "and it's a great opportunity for USACE to support a new customer worldwide."
The Foreign Military Sales program is one of the mechanisms available for the U.S. government to provide assistance to foreign governments. It is a component of the Defense Department's security assistance program, authorized and regulated by U.S. law.
That process provides for U.S. assistance to friendly foreign nations, specifically for military education and training, peacekeeping operations, counter-terrorism and counternarcotics. Through FMS, the U.S. government can sell articles and services, including engineering and construction, to foreign governments' defense establishments.
"The FMS program opens doors to relationships with even our closest allies," said John Pitts, chief of the Foreign Military Sales Branch.