By U.S. ArmyFebruary 14, 2017
"Ready, Set, Go!" is the phrase being used to introduce plans for the U.S. Army's Security Assistance enterprise.
"Ready for today, set the conditions for tomorrow, and go forward with trust and teamwork," is how U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's Commanding General Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen describes how the organization will enable unified operations and prepare for the future state.
Farmen had served just over three months at the helm of USASAC when he began sharing his 100-Day Assessment with the workforce and enterprise at town hall meetings and other forums.
"I want everyone to recognize the USASAC motto, 'Strength in Cooperation,' which describes how we connect the Army Materiel Command Security Assistance Enterprise and use foreign military sales to build partner capacity," he said during a recent gathering.
Building partner capacity helps international partners defeat terrorism and deter threats in their regions. It also reduces the number of U.S. troops who deploy in support of our allies and protects the Homeland. All this bolsters Army readiness Farmen explained.
USASAC, which boasts a $175 billion portfolio in security assistance and FMS programs, plays a critical role in advancing the U.S. National Security Strategy both now and in the future.
"Some people just look and see the numbers, the billions of dollars and the thousands of cases that make up FMS, but that is not how we measure success," he said. "We measure our contribution to strategic readiness through our delivery of capability to our international partners."
Farmen said speed and trust are key factors in increasing efficiencies and thus value, and he wants to shatter the myth that the FMS process is slow and bureaucratic.
"It is not true when you see how [FMS cases] are prioritized. We stay aligned and connected with COCOMs [U.S. Combatant Command] priorities," he said, adding that this ensures partners with critical needs will get the materiel they need on time and that "speed matters!"
His strategic framework for USASAC incorporates priorities, stakeholders, lines of efforts, the current state of operations and the future, or next-generation USASAC.
USASAC priorities are designed to support AMC and the Chief of Staff of the Army's priorities and Secretary of the Army's focus-areas.
"While we are an Army organization under AMC, we still have to respond to DASA-DEC [Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense, Exports and Cooperation] and DSCA [Defense Security Cooperation Agency]," he said, never forgetting USASAC's unique role in implementing security assistance and FMS for the Army, and for stakeholders outside of the Department of Defense like the State Department and Congress.
Farmen used the word "gold standard" to explain USASAC's vision as DOD's premiere security assistance provider. "We are doing 55 percent of the FMS workload for DSCA, so we must continue and try to set the gold standard," he said.
The USASAC mission remains steadfast and it will continue to lead the AMC Security Assistance Enterprise, build partner capacity and support and strengthen U.S. global partnerships. "USASAC delivers four Ts: Trust, Transparency, Teamwork and the Total Package Approach," Farmen said.
"We are a 'team of teams' when we bring together DSCA, the ASAALT [Assistant Security of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology] and the COCOMs," he said. "Then USASAC works below those groups to synchronize and implement the work of the AMC Security Assistance Enterprise."
The "team of teams" are enterprise stakeholders, and those relationships are built on trust, teamwork and transparency. And those teams are expanding strategic readiness through the "Ready, Set, Go!" effort--building readiness, setting conditions to shape the future, and going into the future with a trustworthy, well-trained and well-equipped workforce.
These actions, according to Farmen, will enable unified operations in the current state, 2016-2025, but will also allow USASAC to plan for the future state, 2026-2040.
It is the professionalization of the workforce that Farmen feels will play a key role in the enterprise moving forward. "People are our strategic advantage." Farmen emphasized.
So, while the next generation USASAC "may be selling different equipment and delivering it differently, USASAC will continue to build partner capacity and ensure the customer gets what it paid for to enable unified operations now and in the future," Farmen stated.
But, he said, it will never stray from its proven formula--"Trust plus Teamwork equals Strength in Cooperation."