Supporting partner nation sustainment through SNAP

By CourtesyApril 11, 2024

Supporting Partner Nation Sustainment through SNAP
Ben Rutz, a lead logistics management specialist, and Vicki Salador, an administrator for the Simplified Nonstandard Acquisition Program (SNAP), both with the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC), discuss SNAP transactions in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, April 9, 2024. Established in the 1990s, SNAP provides an accelerated acquisition process of nonstandard assets for foreign military sales partners. Critical improvements to the program began in 2021, and USASAC continues to evaluate and modernize the process to better serve all users. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah Zaler) (Photo Credit: Sarah Zaler) VIEW ORIGINAL

While Foreign Military Sales (FMS) is not always recognized for its speed and flexibility, there are aspects of the program that are doing just that to sustain FMS for nonstandard materiel. The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command’s Simplified Nonstandard Acquisition Program (SNAP) exists to provide an accelerated acquisition process that allows FMS partners to obtain nonstandard assets such as small quantity, low-dollar, off-the-shelf, legacy and difficult to procure materiel.

As conflicts arise and changes occur constantly around the globe, the mission of USASAC remains the same: develop and manage security assistance programs and foreign military sales cases to build partner capacity, support Combatant Command engagement strategies and strengthen U.S. Global partnerships.

In carrying out that mission, USASAC manages over 6,500 cases for more than 130 partner nations with a total program value more than $240 billion. These cases provide U.S. foreign partners and allies with some of the most advanced weapon systems and equipment, helping to increase capabilities and strategic readiness.

With such a vast number of portfolios across varying levels of security environments and needs, requests can sometimes fall outside of the scope of the Army’s traditional supply channels.

“In brief, applying SNAP allows us to accelerate the contracting timeline by promoting competition among the various commercial vendors enrolled in the program, employing a blanket purchase agreement (BPA), operating a micro purchase authority, and reducing traditional contracting solicitation timelines,” said Benjamin Rutz, USASAC’s nonstandard team lead.

The use of a BPA eliminates the need to negotiate terms for each individual partner-submitted requirement. Instead, it allows partner requirement submissions to be reviewed for award conditions and placed on contract by Detroit Arsenal’s Army Contracting Command personnel in the SNAP database.

“This program has been around since the 1990s and has sought to provide an accelerated acquisition process that allows our FMS partners to obtain nonstandard assets,” said Rutz. “In 2021, the program underwent a much-needed development change with the goal of improving the SNAP 2.0.”

The new system has modernized the old program’s processes by implementing a new web design that makes the interface more user friendly. The development of automated prompts provides a real-time monitoring ability of new requirements and modifications to the life cycle of current contracts being managed.

“This innovation and use of the SNAP 2.0 system has allowed us to average a turnaround time from the initial request to shipment of the asset of 125 days, further supporting the benefit of this program to our partners,” said Rutz.

In fiscal year 2023, SNAP awarded over 10,000 contracts, totaling approximately $60 million. Often, small, local businesses and businesses classified as small disadvantaged, and women, veteran, or service-disabled veteran-owned receive the contracts, as they are key vendors in the procurement and manufacture of SNAP assets. In addition to benefiting American communities, the increased competition promotes cost efficiency, while ensuring fair and reasonable product pricing for our foreign partners.

“As a program management team of SNAP at USASAC, we are dedicated to the continual efforts at modernization that will improve our processes, so we can better support our partners’ missions and broaden the reach of approved commercial vendors,” said Rutz. “To this pursuit, we aim to drive more effective communication with our partners and allies to share program knowledge from our users with a focused goal to determine how we can better support their mission requirement through the use of the valuable resource that is SNAP.”

The U.S. Army’s SNAP is a valuable resource for FMS partners and allies that allows them to continue the sustainment support of various legacy weapon systems while offering a rapid avenue for commercial procurement that will assist to bolster their national security and overall mission effectiveness.