The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command recently welcomed the Hellenic Army’s Lt. Col. Georgios Vlachos and bid farewell to Lt. Col. Athanasios “Thanos” Natsios.
Vlachos joins USASAC’s Security Assistance Liaison Officer program in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. With officers from 15 countries, the SALO program enables direct access between foreign military representatives and USASAC’s Foreign Military Sales.
SALO Program Manager Terra Good recognizes the investment countries are making when they send their soldiers to New Cumberland.
“Countries see the value in having an officer assigned to USASAC as it provides a front line of communication to help enable their military forces to receive the parts, training, and equipment they need in the most expeditious way possible,” said Good. “When a country elects to continue filling their SALO role, that tells me USASAC is doing its job.”
Vlachos said he had known about this three-year assignment for Greek officers and he had always wanted the career-broadening opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with the FMS procedures, meeting other SALOs from different countries and exploring the U.S.,” he said. “My main goal is to become an FMS expert and accomplish my country’s cases and expectations regarding the program.”
Unfortunately, due to time constraints and logistics, he and Natsios’ paths did not enjoy a lengthy transition, but he said he was able to learn the basics tasks and the importance of the position.
Although he’ll be geographically separated, Natsios will still be involved with the Hellenic army’s security assistance operations.
“Monitoring the FMS execution phase from a forward standpoint, I gained experience of how cases are executed in practice,” Natsios said. “I have learned what can and cannot be performed so that it can be better anticipated in new cases under development. This will be very useful to my new post where I will staff the sustainment planning operations.”
Natsios said he is grateful for the three-plus years he spent with USASAC, and both he and Vlachos touted the importance of having continued representation in the SALO program to provide the invaluable direct line of communication.
In addition to welcoming Vlachos, Good said the program also welcomed two new countries to the program in the Netherlands and Poland.
“We’re excited to see the program grow,” she said. “Our partners are our top priority and with a SALO assigned to USASAC – they get daily face-to-face engagement and access to certain systems enabling the program to be a force multiplier for SALOs’ countries.”