Story by Sal (Tony) Lopez on 08/12/2019ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill., - Security Assistance is a program that provides defense articles, military education and training and other defense-related services in furtherance of U. S. policies and objectives. The idea of security assistance began before WWII with the awareness that war-torn countries would fall victim to opportunist governments.
The Security Assistance Foreign Military Sales Program was developed by the U.S. to assign foreign aid and achieve national security through foreign policy objectives. Through FMS, the U. S. supports legitimate defense requirements to help our allies defend themselves against aggression and promote better interoperability with U.S. military forces.
The Arms Export Control Act, enacted in 1976, gave the President of the U. S. the authority to control the import and export of defense articles and services with Congressional oversight.
Today, JMC's FMS program supports 67 countries with ammunition ranging from 5.56mm small-caliber to 120mm tank rounds. During the past five years, more than 86,823 tons of ammunition were delivered to U.S. allies and coalition partners; this equates to 954 plane loads of ammunition.
Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability
JMC executes the Army's Security Assistance program for standard and non-standard ammunition by building partner capacity and interoperability between the U.S. Army and its allies, which contributes to increased lethality.
Equipping allies to promote internal security and counter-terrorism furthers U.S. interests. The role FMS plays in smaller countries is also crucial. U. S. drug intervention and counter-narcotics efforts, assistance to train and equip forces and emphasis on long-range economic and social development has been, and will continue to be, supported by JMC.
The country of Colombia, for example, was a recipient of Building Partner Capacity support for counter-narcotics programs, and is currently building on its UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter program. Somalia also is a security assistance recipient in support for partner-building and counter-terrorism programs. In supporting our partner nations, we enable our lesser-known allies to maintain the capability to defend themselves, and to promote peaceful resolution, arms control and protect human rights.
Compatibility testing of Precision Guidance Kits on non-U.S. standard artillery is an example of on-going interoperability efforts with our foreign partners. As part of the Total Package Approach, JMC works with other Army Materiel Command Life-Cycle Management Commands to ensure the customer has the necessary firepower to field the weapon/platform acquired through FMS. For example, when an Apache Helicopter is purchased, the ammunition that normally accompanies that platform such as 30mm cannon, 2.75" Hydra rockets, and Hellfire guided missiles, is also identified as support equipment for the Apache.
U.S. Organic Industrial Base Benefits
In order to project power throughout a multi-domain battle, the U.S. Army relies on innovation both within the government and with private industry. Enabling our international partners with ammunition to support cross-domain, multi-national operations requires close partnerships with industry. In some instances, FMS has led to earlier than programmed delivery of capabilities.
The defense industry also benefits from FMS economically. FMS assists in sustaining the manufacturing workforce. Foreign customers benefit from combined purchases with the U.S. Army, resulting in lower unit costs for the customer as well as the U.S. Army.
Supporting Combatant Commander Priorities
Delivering materiel readiness for Combatant Command requirements enables our allies and friendly nations to achieve dominant land forces capabilities. JMC executes the Army's ammunition Security Assistance program in accordance with the Army's commitment to strengthen ties with allies and attract new partners for long-term advancement of mutual interests and to deter aggression.
The primary mission of JMC is to provide the Joint Force with ready, reliable and lethal munitions at the speed of war to sustain global readiness. With assistance from FMS, JMC will continue to provide the Joint Force and its allies with the lethality needed to win.