Story by Jason Cutshaw on 01/24/2019REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama From the cradle of civilization to the cradle of Army aviation programs, one man hopes to improve both professional and cultural relationships.
Egyptian Army Col. Mohamed Hamdy began his new position as U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command's Egypt Apache Program foreign liaison officer, or FLO, in October and is working to make the relationship between the United States and Egypt's AH-64 Apache programs more efficient. Hamdy also supports other Egypt foreign military sales programs.
"I like it here very much, the people are friendly," Hamdy said. "My role is to add value to the job. Ever since I was a child, I have been seeking perfection in all I do. I am trying to learn, make lasting friendships and leaving a good impression of myself and my country."
A FLO is a citizen of the country he/she is representing. His administrative support is provided from a Foreign Military Sales case funded by his country and executed by AMCOM Security Assistance Management Directorate, or SAMD.
As a FLO, Hamdy is authorized by his government as well as certified by the Department of the Army in connection with programs, projects or agreements of interest to both the United States and Egypt.
Hamdy explained why he wanted to become a liaison officer and how he wants to be more efficient when facing obstacles.
"I like to build partnerships because you may forget a person's name in 30 years, but you will never forget the memories about what you had together," Hamdy said. "One of the obstacles of working with the government is the speed of progress. I like to work fast and dislike the red tape' that goes along with it. Sometimes working with various governments take too much time to accomplish the mission.
"I want to make everything run smoothly and save time and effort in what we do and make everyone happy," he added.
Hamdy talked about how each position he previously served in helped propel him to the next level of proficiency and prepared him for his current position.
He graduated from the Egyptian Air Force Academy in 1998. He trained and qualified to fly the AH-64 Apache. Since then, he has more than 2,800 flight hours and serves as a maintenance test pilot.
"I always worked hard," Hamdy said. "Even if I had a small job, I tried to make it with faith and dignity. I didn't think about myself, I only think about what the benefits of the job to the other people around me."
All throughout his career, he has visited the States several time, for training and work-related seminars. He said that while serving his nation here at Redstone Arsenal, he hopes to be a positive ambassador for the people of Egypt.
"I want people to let people all over the world to know the truth about Egypt and how the people are just like everyone else in the world," Hamdy said. "In Egypt, we are raised to be hospitable and friendly and we love this country. There are many opportunities and things are sometimes easier here than in Egypt."
Serving alongside Hamdy, is an American program manager who ensures the lines of communication are open between the two nations and that they are working hand-in-hand to guarantee success.
"I would like to see a continued and expanded friendship and I think we are off on a great footing there," said Michael L. Slocum, International Program manager for the AMCOM SAMD's Egypt Apache Program. "We have already gone a little bit beyond what you would normally see in a Security Assistance Management Directorate and FLO relationship. We personally enjoy each other's company and we genuinely like each other. We talk two to three times a week, if not more, going over the program and doing those kind of things that ensure his success, our success and the success of the program.
"I think it gets lost on a lot of people that very few countries other than the U.S. have operated the Apache helicopter more than Egypt," Slocum added. "So when I have an opportunity to say so, I like to say the Egypt Apache program is a great program to be on."