When the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) invited the Japan Ground Self Defense Force to bring its indigenous surface-to-ship missiles, launchers and equipment to the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 exercise this past summer, the question of how to get the equipment there arose.

To answer the question, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) asked the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) to support this effort by developing an expedited standalone Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case to facilitate the funding for the transportation.

Both DSCA and the Geographic Combatant Command (U.S. Indo-Pacific Command) designated the case a priority, said Beth Henderson, who at that time was the country program manager for Japan.

According to Henderson, she had four months to ensure the equipment arrived on time.

"The FMS case was initialized Feb. 28 and offered to Japan for acceptance March 23," Henderson said. "Japan signed and submitted their acceptance April 10, and the case was implemented April 11."

USASAC provided funding to USARPAC April 20, ahead of the May 9 deadline to coordinate the transportation via Logistics Support Vessel (LSV). The flexibility of the FMS process allows priorities and urgent requirements to be met expeditiously.

USARPAC diverted an LSV to and from Japan to deliver the materiel to Hawaii prior to the start of the exercise in June. The LSV departed Oahu April 28 and arrived in Japan May 16 where the equipment was loaded May 26-27. The LSV then departed Japan May 28 and arrived in Kauai, Hawaii, June 21. This delivery was in advance of the required delivery date of June 27.

"All reports are that RIMPAC was a success, and USARPAC was pleased with the addition of the indigenous Japan Surface to Ship Missiles," Henderson said.

RIMPAC, conducted biennially in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, is an exercise that this year brought together 25 nations, more than 45 ships and submarines, about 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.

Considered the world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security of the world's oceans.

RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.