By Adriane ElliotJanuary 13, 2017
More than 60 people representing 10 Army organizations attended the Security Assistance Enterprise senior leader forum, Jan. 10-12.
The event was hosted by the Security Assistance Command, the Army Materiel Command's lead for its SAE, and included personnel from each of AMC's life cycle management command's security assistance management directorates and Army Contracting Command.
The SAE forum allowed Army personnel who support security assistance and foreign military sales to discuss best practices, address enterprise issues and share updates -- essential tasks for a workforce whose missions bolster U.S. national security and impact more than 150 nations throughout the globe.
"What we do -- security cooperation -- is a huge part of our nation's defense policy," Ann Cataldo, the deputy assistant secretary for defense exports and cooperation, said on day three of the forum.
She said due to pending changes in policy, the U.S. political arena and throughout the SAE leadership, "the way we do things will change drastically over the next five years."
During the annual gathering of SAE leadership, Cataldo discussed several of those changes to a rapt audience in USASAC's Great Hall, building 4402.
Cataldo is responsible for the Army's global security assistance and armaments cooperation programs, which involve more than 2,000 Army civilian and military personnel and exceeds $14 billion annually in sales.
She urged forum attendees to remember the enormity of their positions, keeping in mind that as they accomplish the USASAC mission, they also are also strengthening relationships with our allies, while enabling our partners to stand and fight a common enemy. Cataldo also told employees that their work does not go unnoticed, but that leadership in the nation's capital pay close attention and understand the significance of security cooperation.
On the first two days of the forum, briefers provided overviews of their organizations, discussed the enterprise's future, manpower and other challenges.
USASAC Commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen closed out the multiday event by highlighting his Training Leader Development Guidance and urged directors to be vigilant as they use a "teach, coach and mentor" leadership style to develop their employees.
"Our people are our strategic advantage in order to generate trust in advancing U.S. strategic partnership through exceptional security assistance and foreign military sales programs," Farmen said.
He noted that the FY '17 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision to increase professionalism of the security cooperation workforce, through enhanced training and certification.
"Thus, we must be business savvy with a war-fighting edge, because our profit margin and value are our readiness and the ability to win in a complex world," Farmen said. "Creating pathways and incentives for careers that include the security cooperation experience, USASAC must lead the charge when it comes to professionalizing our security assistance/cooperation workforce."