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NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support hosted Brig. Gen. Douglas S. Lowrey, commanding general, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, Thursday, Sept. 24. The visit was part of the new commander’s familiarization with NAVSUP WSS’ Joint Consolidation Point, which operates as the primary consolidation and transportation activity for Building Partner Capacity efforts with foreign nations.
According to Lowrey, roughly 50 percent of his workforce is located at USASAC offices in New Cumberland.
“I felt it was necessary to see for myself the assets and materiel,” said Lowrey. He said he learned a great deal from the visit and laying eyes on the items in the warehouses. “Often times we focus on the foreign military sales of major end items such as tanks and helicopters, for example,” he said. “Seeing some of the other classes of items such as Class 2 (clothing or individual equipment), Class 3 (petroleum), and Class 4 items (construction materials), helps complete the whole picture.”
Since being named as the Joint Consolidation Point in 2009 by Defense Security Cooperation Agency, NAVSUP WSS continues to refine is capability to support the Building Partner Capacity program.
Building Partner Capacity is a term with which many outside of federal government circles may be unfamiliar. However, BPC refers to a broad set of activities and authorities intended to improve the ability of other nations to achieve security-oriented goals they share with the United States. In other words, assisting specific nations with security, is also good for the United States’ security. Although not well known, partner capacity-building programs and activities have roots as far back as World War I. BPC became more prominent after World War II and is used more widely, often with greater resourcing, than efforts prior to the attacks on the United States by terrorists on 9/11. Playing a larger role in more recent conflicts, BPC was front and center from 2003-2010 during the Iraq campaign, and is a core component of ongoing contingency operations.
“Through programs like this, the U.S. can hopefully avoid putting American troops in harm’s way,” said Aughenbaugh. “Partner nations who fight terrorism, improve security for themselves as well as the U.S.”
While USASAC manages roughly 80 percent of the material under the FMS umbrella, NAVSUP WSS remains the single command for transportation and consolidation efforts across all three services, including the Marines and U.S. Coast Guard.
“The support we provide is tailored to the specific country and provides a consistent, accurate and reliable transportation solution,” said Aughenbaugh. “Our transportation officers use a variety of transportation to move equipment around the world including commercial air, surface, and military air operations.”
According to Aughenbaugh, the JCP is actively managing more than 60 shipments to over 75 countries worldwide. He said, “We arrange on average over 100 shipments each calendar year, shipping more than $350 million in material last year alone. The BPC program works closely with the Department of Defense and Department of State to ensure the countries to which we are providing support, are also adhering to Human Rights of its citizens.”
The process by which countries are considered for BPC starts with country teams working through Geographic Combatant Commands to nominate proposals to Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs for approval. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency provides program management and execution through the implementing agencies. When a recommendation for inclusion in the program is made, in-country security cooperation officers work up a request package that describes what is being requested, why the country needs it, and the outcomes being sought.
“Once all of the approvals occur, the implementing agencies, including the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, procure the items,” said Aughenbaugh. “Some material is sent directly to the country, such as airplanes, vehicles manufactured outside the U.S., weapons and ammunition, to name a few. All other material is sent to the JCP, where we work with security cooperation organization, and service points of contact to develop a transportation plan that meets the needs of everyone involved.”
Prior to 2010, Aughenbaugh said, material was sent directly to specific country embassies where maintaining accountability was challenging. Then, DSCA and Army representatives, recognized material was flowing out of the U.S. from multiple locations to embassies around the world leading to the security cooperation organizations becoming overwhelmed very quickly.
“Based on success we had helping move some material to Pakistan, DSCA recognized if they had more control of the material heading to partner nations, the program would have more accountability and predictability. This lead to mitigation of loss and more accountability of what material was transferred to our partner nations. Currently every item we receive at the JCP is entered into the DSCA operated, Security Cooperation Management System and when the material is received in-country, the security cooperation organization enters receipt confirmation. They also monitor how the material is used in order to insure the objectives of the BPC program are being met,” said Aughenbaugh.
The number of countries participating in foreign military sales has increased significantly over the years, as has the number of countries in the BPC program. In the beginning, there were only a handful of countries in the program. Now, BPC has grown to a total value of $1.6 billion with approximately 80 countries. While this may not be an indicator of success or failure, it does mean NAVSUP WSS’ JCP has kept pace with the growth of the program and is helping create secure environments around the globe, build partner capacity and ultimately, helping nations, help themselves.
NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsupwss and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.
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