ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Through the Security Assistance Program, the Joint Munitions Command (JMC) provides foreign partners with goods and services to arm and protect themselves against extremist threats and coercion. JMC also enables allied foreign governments to acquire the expertise to manufacture select defense items through "co-production." Developing those resources abroad, postures U.S. allies for improved munitions readiness and capacity to deter and decisively respond to shared challenges for our common defense.
Co-production for the Department of Defense is "A program implemented by a government-to-government or commercial licensing arrangement that enables a foreign government or firm to acquire the 'know-how' to manufacture or assemble, repair, maintain and operate, in whole or in part, a defense item," said Toni McNeal, director of the Security Assistance Directorate. Two examples of these efforts that JMC manages for the Army Security Assistance Enterprise are Egypt's 120mm tank training ammo and Japan's 2.75 inch Hydra rocket.
Partnering with Egypt contributes to foreign policy and national security by improving the defense of a country who continues to be an important strategic partner in the Middle East, as well as supporting operations against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Sinai. The program includes supporting all manufacturing requirements and logistical support services for 120mm tank training rounds.
Japan's 2.75 inch Hydra rocket co-production effort enhances communication and solid relationships between key INDOPACOM partners, as well as the sharing of expertise and innovation between the U.S. government, Japanese forces and the manufacturer.
When the U.S. enters into these types of arrangements, the benefits realized are multi-fold and national security objectives are furthered. While the program improves our allies' military readiness, it also promotes the standardization and interoperability of military equipment worldwide. Building on the experience and technology gained through these efforts strengthens allies' defense industry and U.S. relationships with key partners.
Readiness is impossible without international involvement. As a senior Army official recently stated, "We have always believed that by building partner capacity in our partners and allies, we are ensuring U.S. Army readiness. When partners and allies have the same equipment and training, they can better support coalition operations."