By Ms. Kim C Gillespie (USASAC)February 26, 2014
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- "USASAC Engaged -- Processes, Promises and People" was the topic of Security Assistance Command's Thursday AUSA Winter Symposium 2014 Focus Forum. The Focus Forums were held in the exhibit area and featured industry and Army subjects in a smaller, less formal venue than the formal speeches and panels of the symposium.
The USASAC Focus Forum drew one of the forum's largest audiences with an estimated attendance of nearly 100. USASAC was one of two Army Materiel Command subordinate commands to be featured.
Maj. Gen. Del Turner was USASAC's principal speaker and discussed leadership of the Security Assistance Enterprise. While explaining how the command and its counterpart enterprise organizations execute the Army's Foreign Military Sales program, Turner also discussed FMS forecasts and sales, the changing defense sales environment and opportunities.
"I'm seeing much more competition before a country selects a piece of equipment," Turner said, describing the process foreign customers use to ultimately decide on a particular equipment system. "They establish a small (FMS) case that provides a limited number of systems and some support in order to conduct very extensive 12-to 24-month competitions in order to down-select a system."
USASAC's regional operations directors each briefed their Combatant Command, or COCOM, support areas. The top five customer countries, based on program values and the priority systems/equipment for their areas were noted. They also discussed potential future security assistance programs, with some commonalities such as attack and utility helicopters and Excess Defense Articles refurbishments.
USASAC's Washington Field Office director Dave Dornblaser explained how USASAC implements the National Defense Authorization Act Section 1206 program that is Title 10, Global Train and Equip, to fight terrorism. He noted that for fiscal year 2014, the Army is set to receive an estimated appropriation of more than $200 million which is used to fund materiel and services such as unmanned aircraft systems, weapons, Soldier equipment medical supplies, ammunition, training aids and training.
Training was also the topic for USASAC's Security Assistance Training Management Organization's commander Col. Joe Bovy. Bovy explained the organization's mission of tailored training outside the continental U.S. for international partners. He noted that his organization's mission continues to expand, with both the number of missions and countries supported expected to increase through FY '17. Bovy concluded his presentation by noting that industry opportunities to support SATMO would be forthcoming when its Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract expires later this year and is re-competed with two new ID/IQs to replace it for the areas of aviation training and general training and education.
Turner hopes that the information provided to industry will help them understand the challenges facing the defense sales environment.
"All the COCOMs do a good job of developing theater security cooperation plans," Turner said. "The COCOMs will be able to tell you what type of capabilities, maybe even the systems countries are looking for inside their COCOM area."
Turner wrapped up the presentation by encouraging industry representatives to use USASAC as a resource when looking for future opportunities.
"If you can't have an enduring presence in the country … then plug into the ODC (Office of Defense Cooperation), the COCOM and USASAC Regional Operations in order to get that understanding as to what is going on inside the country, requirements versus budget."