Paying for a service before you receive it can make consumers uneasy, but it's a no-brainer in the foreign military sales arena.
With USASAC's Total Package Approach, approved partner nations purchase not only advanced weapons systems used by U.S. and Coalition Forces, but a sustainment package that allows them to maintain the equipment throughout its life cycle.
The foreign military sales “total package approach”, which includes the equipment, subsequent parts, training manual and soldiers to maintenance the equipment, consists of two follow-on support (FOS) options: a Defined Order Line of Accounting (LOA) and a Blanket Order LOA.
A Defined Order LOA consists of defense articles and services that are separately identified line items whereas a blanket order LOA is a category of items with no definitive listing of items or quantities.
The Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Arrangement, or CLSSA, is a form of Blanket Order LOA that utilizes both Foreign Military Sales Order-I (FMSO-I) stockage/investment cases and foreign Military Sales Order-II (FMSO-II) requisition/procurement cases.
FMSO-I and FMSO-II case dollar values are semi-independent of each other and must utilize non-expiring funding.
With FMSO-I cases, when a country buys equipment, it comes with a box of spare repair parts managed and stocked by the DOD whereas FMSO-II cases include repair parts in support of systems common to the U.S. such as obsolete/disposal coded items and non-controlled medical items.
CLSSA allows the FMS customer the ability to buy into the U.S. Logistics System and/or compete with U.S. Forces to replenish stock and reduce procurement lead times and the Army to forecast and account for additional parts while ensuring Army readiness.
The Department of Defense uses CLSSA to procure additional levels of centrally stocked or centrally managed items in preparation for a purchase order such as small arms, high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, helicopter spares, tracked vehicles, guided missile systems, communication equipment and howitzers.
Supply Logistics Management Specialist Phyllis Pritchett said the CLSSA program makes the FMS operation more efficient. “With CLSSA the U.S. government is not just going to provide the equipment but also the spare parts for the equipment, training manual with instructions on how to sustain and maintenance it and the soldiers who will train you on how to use the equipment.”
Similarly to walking into a doctor’s office and holding your place in line, investing in CLSSA guarantees the foreign country a place in line to receive spare parts for their equipment.
“CLSSA is designed to have access to have items centrally stocked (on the shelf) as opposed to vendor managed items,” said Pritchett. “CLSSA item eligibility is based on the following acquisition advice codes: A, B, C, D, E G, H, M, Q, V, and Z.”
Once a foreign partner has purchased U.S. origin defense equipment, CLSSA provides support for continued spare parts to expand the lifespan of the equipment they have purchased.
Investing in CLSSA is similar to what you get with Amazon vs. Amazon Prime. With CLSSA, the customer pays a fee in advance prior to receiving the spare parts.
When a foreign partner buys into the CLSSA program it gives them a customer ranking so they can obtain the parts, allowing them a greater percentage of filling their requirements. In other words, foreign partners buying into CLSSA are buying in to get 85% supply materiel availability.
If the country wants to further equipment maintenance past the box of spare parts that came with the equipment, the country either has to get a blanket order, or CLSSA case, or they can order additional parts straight from the commercial vendor.
When ordering parts from CLSSA, the foreign customer would pay the same amount as the U.S. government and experience a shorter delivery time.
Planning is key however when it comes to ordering parts through CLSSA. “Don’t wait until the last minute to order parts because sometimes items become harder to get,” said Pritchett. “There is no guarantee the U.S. can supply. We do our best to get the materiel but if there are problems with the delivery, the foreign country will have to wait.”
Over 40 countries have invested in CLSSA with nearly 300 FMSO-I and FMSO-II cases.
Editor’s note: USASAC is in the process of migrating all FMS cases including CLSSA to GFEBS but it has been delayed until spring 2022.