Foreign partners make historic trip to White House
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. - For the first time since standing up the Security Assistance Liaison Officer program in 1991, a group of SALOs from the Security Assistance Command, New Cumberland, and USASAC leadership visited the White House in Washington, D.C.

The SALO program consists of officers from 13 partner nations spanning five continents. They play an intricate role in the foreign military sales process between the U.S. and hundreds of partner nations around the world. They are an extremely valuable asset to U.S. military forces in improving total military readiness.

One such officer, Capt. Simon Bowser of Canada, chairman of the SALO committee, spoke on the importance of camaraderie-building trips like the visit to the White House and how it showcases USASAC's desire to build lasting partnerships.

"The intent of this trip was to increase cultural awareness while building camaraderie and cohesion," Bowser said. "This trip reinforced the perception that we are a valued part of the USASAC team. The realization that we were afforded the opportunity to visit the official residence of the president of our host nation and ally will remain a highlight of our tour of duty here."

Terra Good, the SALO program manager at USASAC said that not only was it important for the international officers to go out as a group and experience, in her opinion, the most historic and well-known monument in America; it was dually important for the public to see partner nation allies together with their USASAC counterparts.

"The opportunity to visit the White House is rare for Americans, let alone for some of our international officers," Good said. "To have 10 countries standing together in front of the White House was not only special for us, but for the public. It really gave us the opportunity to show the strength of our alliances and how we are working towards building a picture of peace, security and stability."