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NEWS | Feb. 18, 2021

Foreign Military Sales, Supporting the Supply Chain Internationally

By Tristan Pavlik, Office of Corporate Communications, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support

While NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support has provided supply support to the Navy for more than 100 years, it has also supported the international community for more than a quarter century. As the International Logistics Control Office for the U.S. Navy, the NAVSUP WSS International Programs, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) directorate provides support to more than 80 countries around the world, ensuring foreign mission partners are prepared and equipped to participate in cooperative coalition military actions with U.S. Forces.

As part of an effort led by Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) to address the Navy’s requirement for a single, sustainable and strategic design for a Navy-wide supply chain—known as Naval Sustainment System-Supply or NSS-Supply—NAVSUP WSS International Programs directorate has integrated foreign mission partners into the naval supply chain to maximize end-to-end support efficiency.

The U.S. Security Cooperation Program and NAVSUP WSS FMS operate under the guidance of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 supporting U.S. Foreign Policy strategic objectives globally. Foreign Military Sales goals for readiness and collaboration, are accomplished by working side-by-side with Security Assistance Foreign Representatives (SAFRs), enabling the command to deliver customer service and engage effectively with international mission partners around the world.

In the same way that NAVSUP WSS fills the Navy’s program and supply support role, the FMS program serves as the supply chain integrator for international partners to increase their capacity, proficiency and interoperability. This function supports the NSS-Supply mission of increased end-to-end velocity through supply chain resilience.

“We must deepen our operational relationships within the Navy and beyond, to include other services, agencies, industry, allies and partners. The durability of these networks and the quality of the communications within them is vital to our national defense,” said Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command. “Understanding their intrinsic symbiosis is perhaps the most critical enabler to our success as professional logisticians.”

Through participation in the U.S. Security Cooperation Programs, NAVSUP WSS is able to integrate and synchronize end-to-end supply chain performance for foreign mission partners.

Fran Litle, department head of Country Program Management at NAVSUP WSS, spoke to the importance of the directorate’s mission.

“FMS manages and executes program and supply support capabilities to foreign militaries around the world," Litle explained. “As advocates for our international mission partners, their readiness is our top priority.”

Other vital services the NAVSUP WSS FMS program provides include the support of foreign partners’ embassy personnel and in-country representatives, as well as, alignment with multiple system commands to advance and strengthen allies' weapon systems. By utilizing FMS programs NAVSUP WSS is able to not only increase relationships with foreign mission partners, but also increase end-to-end velocity by taking into account several factors such as demand management.

One of the most unique aspects of the FMS program is the presence of SAFRs, or members of a foreign country's military, according to Litle. They participate in short rotations to the United States, working with NAVSUP WSS’ program analysts to support their country’s military.

The SAFRs ensure clear communication between NAVSUP WSS and the allied nation and efficient use of resources. Currently, there are a few dozen SAFRs stationed in Philadelphia representing countries around the world.

“We must also remember that there are limits to the utility of technology. In the final analysis, it is the human element that separates us from our potential adversaries,” said Stamatopoulos. This unique program ensures maximum communication between naval logisticians and foreign mission partners.

“My experience working with the FMS team has been very enriching,” explained Maj. Antonio Elvira, a SAFR from the Spanish air force. “NAVSUP WSS program analysts are always ready to solve any issue my country has with requisitions, and they do it thoroughly. The program analysts always provide proper information and give advice to help us to make the right decision.”

“Being at NAVSUP WSS is very important for my country because you can deal with any discrepancy face to face, which makes supporting our military more efficient,” Maj. Elvira continued. “Because of that, the NAVSUP WSS FMS program is very effective.”

The NAVSUP WSS FMS program manages six formal types of cases tailored to different forms of support: Initial Spares, Follow on Supply Support Cases, Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Arrangements, Direct Requisitioning Procedure, Repair and Omnibus.

Each type of case is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the various platforms they support. For example, initial spares cases tailor allowance products and leverage stock and procurement for economies of scale in support of Aegis Combat System and the E-2C Hawkeye. Follow on supply support cases also provide tailored allowance products, but they also provide access to legacy parts for platforms like the C-130 Hercules aircraft. Repair cases include Repair of Repairables, which allow countries to send in broken parts for repair, and Direct Requisitioning Procedure cases allow them to submit requisitions for specific parts. These cases allow for the direct integration of requisitions into the naval supply chain.

In total, NAVSUP WSS FMS cases support more than 2,400 international aircraft and over 750 international ships. This encompasses the Aegis weapon system, fast missile craft, several series of the F/A-18 Hornet platform, several growing helicopter programs, legacy platforms such as the A-4 Skyhawk and A-7 Corsair and even the newest AH-1Z Viper platform.

The FMS program keeps NAVSUP WSS globally engaged every day, ensuring to keep international mission partners’ and the fleet mission ready.

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.
For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.