By Terri Stover, USASACDecember 18, 2018
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The Security Assistance Command manages the Army Materiel Command's security assistance enterprise. The enterprise oversees all facets of foreign military sales, from training partner forces on weapons systems to logistics, from spare parts to contracting, and everything in between.
A key component in the enterprise is the Army Contracting Command, as they provide guidance, support and current operational contracting status to USASAC personnel on foreign military sales.
Stephanie Gilkes serves as a procurement analyst in the ACC, working to support FMS across six different contracting centers. She has been a liaison officer at USASAC since June 2017.
"I enjoy the role that I'm in as a headquarter ACC liaison officer to USASAC. Each day there is an opportunity to learn something new about FMS and the AMC security assistance enterprise," Gilkes said.
Headquarter ACC liaison officers are assigned as a focal point within USASAC for the regional operations directorates (CENTCOM, SOUTHCOM, INDO-PACOM, NORTHCOM, EUCOM and AFRICOM). "We serve as the conduit between USASAC, the ACC and the Security Assistance Management Directorate," Tiffany Thompson, supervisory contract specialist with ACC, said.
A typical day for Gilkes includes assisting USASAC personnel with some type of contracting issues. "Some issues I'm able to provide an answer and resolve the problem at hand almost immediately. Other issues may require that I do some research and make some phone calls or send e-mails to the contracting centers in order to resolve the problem or answer the questions at hand," Gilkes said.
Contracting plays a key role in supporting security assistance and the bigger picture of Army readiness. "Building partner capacity for allies and partners relies on the same processes used by the Army to obtain materiel. That means my work can be crucial to meeting Army priorities and urgent requirements that involve allies and partners," Gilkes said.
She graduated from Alabama A&M University, earning a bachelor's in business administration, concentrating in contracting and logistics. She then was selected as an AMC intern, working in what is now the Army Contracting Command-Redstone. "Through the years, I worked in various contracting positions at ACC-R, (and in) different program offices within Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support and PEO Aviation," Gilkes said.
"I have a master of science degree in contract management from Florida Institute of Technology. As a graduate of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship Program, I participated in a premier three-year acquisition leadership development program designed to broaden leadership and management skills and to expand my knowledge of the acquisition process," she said.
With her education and experience, along with holding a Level III Certification in Contracting and Program Management, she is well-qualified to assist with large and complex foreign military sales transactions.
Gilkes also has the distinction of truly being from Redstone Arsenal. She was born in the original Redstone hospital which is now building 111 on Goss Road.