By Ms Michelle Harlan (USASAC)December 5, 2011
Employees working for the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command are in regular contact with their customers around the world through the Foreign Military Sales program. USASAC is often referred to as the "Army's Face to the World" because the organization is the first contact a foreign customer has within the Army. By maintaining Liaison Officers throughout the major Combatant Commands, USASAC's reach is that much closer to their international partners.
"I am there to relay the priorities of the COCOM back to USASAC and vice-versa," Jay Dywan said. "I interface between the two commands to help USASAC best meet the needs of the COCOM and our international partners."
Dywan has lived in Stuttgart, Germany since April 2010 working as a LNO, or Liaison Officer, at European Command headquarters. Dywan also works with country program managers (CPM) in USASAC's EUCOM Regional Operations Directorate and with the Offices of Defense Cooperation (ODCs) at each U.S. Embassy.
"LNOs are there to assist the CPM and USASAC leadership in order to fill their responsibilities in security assistance," Dywan said. "We have direct contact with ODCs in each country and can help prior to an official letter of request and throughout the entire FMS process."
USASAC implements foreign military sales and training for eligible foreign governments through Letters of Requests. As a connection between FMS customers and the Army, LNOs are available to answer questions on the FMS process and requirements. And with a LNO in the same country, and time zone, there is the added convenience of instant communication with the foreign customer.
LNOs also regularly speak with CPMs, EUCOM and service component staff, and ODCs. These relationships that are built bridge the gap between governments and is a key responsibility of the LNO in making foreign military sales a success.
"Knowing the right people to connect to solve a particular issue is a big part of the job," Dywan said. "I am proud to be a cog in the process and able to help."
With a solid background in security assistance, Dywan also educates new desk officers as they rotate into positions at EUCOM who are unfamiliar with the FMS process.
Dywan served as an International Military Student Officer (IMSO) and attended the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM) while on active duty with the Army. He worked at the Security Assistance Training Field Activity (SATFA) and DSCA before accepting the four-year assignment as LNO with EUCOM.
"I enjoy working with the security assistance enterprise and hope to continue doing it in the future," Dywan said.