By Ms. Michelle Harlan (USASAC)April 7, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - A cross section of 51 Redstone Arsenal employees from the security assistance community attended a five-day course on Security Assistance Management for CONUS programs, taught by a mobile education team from the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management.
The high visibility of security assistance community programs located on Redstone and a mandate from the secretary of defense to achieve a 95 percent training "High Priority Performance Goal" for the work force by the end of fiscal 2011 led to discussions of bringing the SAM-C course to Huntsville. The logistics of sending and scheduling that many professionals from one area to a residence course at DISAM's campus in Ohio was not feasible in one year. Since several organizations on Redstone are directly involved with foreign military sales, there was a local need to offer the course, according to Brig. Gen. Christopher Tucker, commander of the Army Security Assistance Command.
The SAM-C course is comprised of online training and a week of classroom training. Students taking the course are mid-level management working on contracts supporting U.S. Security Assistance/Security Cooperation programs. Prior to the class, students must complete Level I and Level II training requirements under the Security Cooperation Workforce Database. The SAM-C, a Level III class, provides an overview of security assistance (selling of and training on equipment) and selected topics of the security cooperation program.
"After successful completion of the course, security assistance professionals will be qualified to do their job as a country program manager or country case manager," Gale Fenwick, USASAC training manager, said.
Personnel from USASAC, AMCOM, PEO Missiles and Space, PEO Aviation and MDA were represented in the class.
"There are so many organizations here and Redstone is key to the security cooperation effort," Bob Van Horn, assistant professor with DISAM, said. "Redstone is a very important part of the security assistance world, and we're lucky to have different skill sets and functions in this class, from logistics and acquisition to training and finance."
Bringing a diverse group of professions together helps students have an understanding and appreciation of all facets involved in the FMS process.
"There are so many technicalities to our business," Tucker said. "Attending the SAM-C course makes you (the student) better at representing the U.S. in FMS."
Students are encouraged to participate in the class through discussions and group exercises.
"This course is not passive. If you are not active and engaging the instructors or fellow classmates, you won't get out of the class what you should," Van Horn said. "We want students to have an enhanced understanding of the bigger picture."