Tuesday May 12, 2009
What is it?
The United States Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) executes the Army's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program for materiel and services. As part of the Army's Security Assistance (SA) Enterprise, USASAC works closely with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C)), and serves as the U.S. Army Materiel Command's (AMC) FMS proponent. The Life Cycle Management Commands (LCMCs) and the Army Contracting Command are also crucial to the enterprise's success.
USASAC is responsible for life cycle program management of Army FMS; and enables other Army Implementing Agencies' FMS efforts in support of U.S. national interests.
What has USASAC done?
The FMS program has been around for more than 40 years, but USASAC changed dramatically in the aftermath of 9-11. The SA Enterprise took on a wartime footing, and the peacetime FMS process was accelerated.
By 2003, there was a surge in requirements to support coalition forces. The Army SA team assisted in equipping coalition forces from 16 countries. The team coordinated for the provision of uniforms, weapons, ammunition, communications gear, body armor, vehicles and night vision equipment-all were expedited.
USASAC, supported by the Security Assistance Management Directorates (SAMD) embedded in AMC's LCMC's, PEO-STRI, and the entire Army Materiel Enterprise is a key proponent in equipping Iraq and Afghanistan forces from the ground up. The SA community supports 140 partners and allies and is a key contributor to building partner capacity.
During FY08 the Army fostered relationships with allies and partners through the execution of more than $14.5 billion in new FMS. In FY09, FMS will increase beyond FY08 levels.
What continued efforts does USASAC have planned for the future?
Today, the entire SA Enterprise is providing focused support to key allies and partners participating in OIF and OEF while continuing to support other international customers. In order to meet this challenge, USASAC will continue to streamline business processes, organizational design adjustments and use technology to enhance performance and transparency.
Why is USASAC important?
Security Assistance supports building long-term relationships, and enhancing interoperability with coalition partners. The Army's SA Enterprise provides products and services to build the capability and capacity of partner countries, helping to secure American strategic interests around the globe. The Army and the nation receive additional benefits from FMS. These sales help sustain the skilled workers in the defense industry, extend production lines and lower unit costs.
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"I believe that our mission [in Afghanistan] requires new thinking and new approaches from our military leaders. Today, we have a new policy set by our new president. We have a new strategy, a new mission and a new ambassador. I believe that new military leadership is needed."
- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, on his recommendation to President Barack Obama to nominate Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the new commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghnaistan
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