Security Assistance Enterprise continues to move cargo

By Rachel Deloach, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command Public AffairsOctober 27, 2021

Soldiers of the 97th Transportation Company, 7th Sustainment Brigade, and civilian contract workers load an Avenger Air Defense System assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment onto an Army Watercraft System in support of exercise  Forager 21 on July 28, 2021, Naval Station Guam. Exercise Forager 21 is a U.S. Army Pacific exercise designed to test and refine the Theater Army’s ability to flow landpower forces into the theater, execute command and control of those forces, and effectively employ them in support of our allies, partners, and national security objectives in the region. (Photo by Army Spc. Olivia Lauer)
Soldiers of the 97th Transportation Company, 7th Sustainment Brigade, and civilian contract workers load an Avenger Air Defense System assigned to 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment onto an Army Watercraft System in support of exercise Forager 21 on July 28, 2021, Naval Station Guam. Exercise Forager 21 is a U.S. Army Pacific exercise designed to test and refine the Theater Army’s ability to flow landpower forces into the theater, execute command and control of those forces, and effectively employ them in support of our allies, partners, and national security objectives in the region. (Photo by Army Spc. Olivia Lauer) (Photo Credit: Spc. Olivia Lauer) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Despite the pandemic slowing the movement of cargo globally, U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) continues to put materiel in the hands of our foreign allies and partners.

The delivery of goods and services via foreign military sales (FMS) is a critical aspect of Army Materiel Command’s security assistance enterprise because it ensures America’s partners and allies can support regional security requirements, enabling strategic readiness.

In the past, foreign partners have satisfied mission requirements immediately upon receiving materiel by rail or sea.

Before the materiel changes hands with the foreign partner however, it goes through a series of steps. Once an FMS case is scheduled in the system, the materiel is delivered through the Defense Transportation System (DTS) or the freight forwarder of their choice. Most partners choose the latter.

All shipments are freight on board origin. This means the price for goods includes delivery at the seller’s expense to a specified point, and the purchaser assumes liability for lost or damaged cargo and pays all shipping costs, whether through a FMS freight forwarder or the DTS.

“Freight forwarders are contracted by the foreign partner so any damages to cargo is between the freight forwarder and foreign partner, said USASAC Transportation Branch Chief Fran Mutschler. “However, when shipments are made through DTS and cargo is damaged, there is a Transportation Discrepancy Report process outlined in the Defense Transportation Regulation for our customers to report the issue.”

The process for shipping materiel to foreign partners is a methodological one. Under the contracts established by USTRANSCOM, the shippers will arrange transportation to the point specified in the DTC and generate the shipping documentation. The documentation is attached to the cargo and provided to the transportation service provider who will pick up and deliver the cargo to the location in the delivery address. This location could be to the foreign partners’ freight forwarder, water port, or in-country site.

But first, shippers examine the cargo and review its characteristics to make sure it is transported, handled and received by the authorized person or agency. It must follow the transportation plans for classified or sensitive, and arms, ammunition, and explosives security risk categories.

A delivery term code (DTC) and Military Assistance Program Address Code (MAPAC) are two materiel characteristics shippers look for. After taking a look at the DTC for the requisition, shippers look up the MAPAC to obtain the delivery address and use the DTC to determine how far in the delivery process they will coordinate transportation.

Improvements have been made in early case development by bringing in transportation subject matter experts (SMEs) to provide guidance to foreign partners on selection of DTCs.

“The Transportation SMEs are able to advise foreign partners on the best means of transportation for particular commodities they are desiring to procure, setting up the case up for smooth execution and delivery of cargo,” said Mutschler.

The average delivery time, however, depends on the delivery location.

In fiscal year 2021 alone, approximately 133,000 shipments were made to foreign partners with 83% moved through freight forwarders and 17% moved through DTS.

Through shipment of materiel, provided by the Security Assistance Command and other organizations throughout the security assistance enterprise, U.S. allies and partners continue to increase their presence and influence, bolstering their own security and the readiness of U.S. and coalition forces.

For more information about USASAC and how it supports foreign partners and U.S. Army Readiness, visit www.army.mil/usasac.