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How an International Logistics Control Office goes to War.


The purpose of this study is to serve as a guide for the military departments' (MILDEPs) International Logistics Control Offices (ILCOs) to follow when coalition defense operations involving U.S. Forces and military forces of friendly and allied countries supported through the foreign military sales (FMS) program are initiated. Since Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991 significant changes in business operations and advances in technology, especially in communications with the advent of e-mail and satellite imaging, have occurred. While recognizing these changes, this case study focuses on the business processes and technologies available at the time of the Gulf War and the approach used by the Air Force ILCO as it went to war in 1990 and 1991. This study was accomplished as part of the researcher's completion of the Capstone Course for the Defense Leadership and Management Program. It was completed prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A Case Study

The FMS program is legally sanctioned in t0he Arms Export Control Act (AECA) of 1976, as amended. The FMS program is the means by which military articles and services are transferred from a component of the U.S. government to a foreign government or international organization in non-emergency circumstances. From a legal perspective, the FMS program is a peace-time program; however, beginning with Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the summer of 1990 and continuing to the more recent operations in Yugoslavia in the winter and spring of 1999, FMS has become a critical component of coalition defense operations, war-time planning, and logistics support. The basic legal controls of FMS which restrict the FMS program from quickly responding to a crisis, however, have not changed. The Air Force Security Assistance Center (AFSAC) located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the Air Force ILCO. The Army ILCO is located at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania while the Navy ILCO is located at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An ILCO is responsible for the sale, logistical support and financial management of military articles and services sold to foreign governments and organizations through FMS.

Using the AFSAC as a case study, this paper will outline and discuss:

* The purpose of the FMS Program;

* The laws and policies governing the FMS Program;

* How the FMS Program contributes to coalition defense planning and operations;

* How an ILCO "gears-up" from a peace-time program to meet the operational tempo required for combat missions; and

* What lessons learned for U.S. military departments may be gleaned from the AFSAC experience that can be drawn on to ensure FMS contributes to coalition defense planning and operations.

Executive Summary

Since the end of the Vietnam War and the Cold War, the U.S. government has been reluctant to pursue worldwide military operations unilaterally. Especially since 1990, the U.S. foreign policy, when exercised through military operations, has usually been accomplished through coalition defense forces. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) military departments have engaged in combat operations using their own supply systems while depending on the FMS program to logistically support and reinforce coalition partners' military requirements to ensure their full participation in coalition defense operations. During such crisis, the DoD ILCOs have accomplished their responsibilities by the seat of their pants. The ILCOs have lived through the experience on a day-to-day basis, inventing the process as they went along. At the conclusion of coalition operations, the military departments have not written down FMS lessons learned in any single, concise how to do it document. There are, to be sure, selected reports and articl es scattered throughout various journals (e.g., Journal of Air Force Logistics); however, these reports and articles are often at a high indenture level, appropriate for strategic planning, but do not provide lock-step guidance necessary for implementation at a local ILCO level. Moreover, these articles focus on U.S. forces' operations. They do not discuss how our FMS partners played in coalition operations.

By 2007, fully one-half of the DoD Workforce will have retired, be eligible to retire, or be eligible to leave government service through some form of incentive buy-out. Much of the intellectual property that has implemented coalition operations on the FMS-side of the ledger will be lost once these members of the DoD workforce leave. By codifying this knowledge-base in a single, concise document the MILDEPs can expect to continue the successful coalition defense operations through the FMS program they have enjoyed in years past.

Overview of the U.S. Security Assistance Program

Purpose and Structure of the Security Assistance Program

In the Fourth Century, Vegetius wrote "Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum"-Let him who desires peace, prepare for war (Brandt, page 1). The purpose of the U.S. government's security assistance (SA) program is to advance the security of the U.S. by ensuring regional stability and economic development of democratic, free-economies around the world (Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations Fiscal Year (FY) 2000, pp. xii-xiii). The security assistance program provides for:

* Military assistance;

* Economic support;

* Military education and training;

* Peacekeeping operations;

* Anti-terrorism assistance; and

* The sale of, credit transfer of, or loans for defense articles or services to friendly and allied governments and international organization, Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations Fiscal Year 2000.

The security assistance program is administered by the U.S. Department of State and implemented through the DoD MILDEPs. There are six major components of the SA program. These are:

* FMS and FMS construction;

* Foreign military financing;

* Direct commercial sales licensed under the AECA of 1976, as amended;

* International military education and training;

* Economic support fund; and

* Peacekeeping operations.

There are also four other programs related to the SA Program:

* Lease of defense articles;

* Transfer of excess defense articles;

* Emergency drawdowns of defense stocks; and

* Third-country transfers (Brandt, pp. 57-62).

For the purposes of this study the focus will be on FMS and the role the Air Force FMS ILCO has played in supporting the operations of coalition defense partners.

Origin and Evolution of the SA Program

Security assistance (or, in a narrower sense, the transfer of arms and articles of warfare) has been part of international relations as long as societies have been preparing for and engaging in war. Whenever it was assumed to be in the best interest of one nation to give or sell arms or other military support to another, arms transfers of some type have taken place. The supply and demand for arms have been, and remain, a natural consequence of the desire to achieve national goals and maintain national security...

The practice of military assistance/arms transfers can be traced to the earliest recorded military histories. A classic example of problems associated with such transfers can be found in Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, written some 2500 years ago. The transfer of arms was as controversial then as now, as illustrated by the declaration of Aristophanes, the classical playwright, when he held that the armaments industry was hindering peace in ancient Greece (Brandt, p. 24).

Perhaps the first instance of U.S. security assistance policy may be found in the Monroe Doctrine issued in 1823. This doctrine declared that the Americas (North, Central and South) were off limits to incursions from European powers. Further, "...the doctrine implied that the U.S. would vigorously oppose such actions by whatever means seemed appropriate to meet the real or implied threats to the safety of the U.S. or its neighbors in the Western Hemisphere" (Brandt, p. 25). The U.S. government financial support, defense article transfers and finally military involvement in World Wars I and II, along with the allied nations opposed to the Axis Powers and Germany, were clear-cut examples of coalition defense operations at the beginning and middle of the last century. Following World War II, the Truman Doctrine espoused the concept of collective security and the containment of Soviet expansion into Western Europe. As the Cold War between the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allies and the S oviet Union and its Warsaw Pact Forces intensified, subsequent doctrines from successive presidential administrations (e.g., Eisenhower, Kennedy/Johnson, Nixon, etc.) espoused foreign policy predicated on a concept of collective security with other nations having similar values (Brandt, pp. 26-43).

Evolution of Coalition Defense Planning and Operations Administered Through the SA Program

From Military Assistance to Foreign Military Sales

In 1949 the Mutual Defense Assistance Act (PL 81-329) created the Military Assistance Program which made mutual security pacts and the concept of security assistance integral and intertwined elements of the doctrine of containing Soviet expansion. Security assistance was largely in the context of granting military defense equipment and economic development funds and projects to countries at risk to communist expansion and subversion (Ripley and Lindsay, pp. 220-221). In reality, it was the singular threat of U.S. military force, garrisoned throughout the world and ringing the Soviet Union in Europe and Asia which gave credence to the concept of collective security, and value to the idea of transferring military equipment to other nations as a hedge against Soviet military aspirations.

In 1969 President Nixon declared that "while the United States would honor its commitments, American's allies and friends would have to bear the primary burden of their own defense" (Ripley and Lindsay, p. 221). Central to the Nixon Doctrine was the sale of defense equipment as opposed to the transfer of defense equipment as grants-in-aid. It was envisioned that regional states using their own indigenous personnel, armed with U.S. purchased military equipment and trained in common strategies, tactics and communications would provide for the stability and collective security interests of the region (Ripley and Lindsay, p. 221). From this concept evolved the FMS Program.

From Foreign Military Sales to Coproduction Relationships

As FMS customers became more sophisticated in the management of their own defense needs, they wanted to be more involved in their own defense planning and development. Moreover, they wanted to bolster their own security by ensuring their own domestic industrial base. The relationship between the U.S. government and FMS countries was changing from that of a supplier to client states to that of a partnership with the defense industry worldwide (Pierre, p. 11). One approach to helping FMS customers establish their own warm industrial defense base while at the same time ensuring common configuration for defense articles is the coproduction program. Major objectives of the coproduction program are to:

* Enable countries to improve military readiness through expansion of their technical and military support capability; and

* Promote U.S.-allied standardization of military materiel and equipment" (DoD Directive 2000.9, p. 3).

Coproduction meant common equipment and supply stocks would be available in-theater and in selected countries from manufacturing sources other than U.S. industry. These common stocks would thus be available for coalition defense forces (U.S. and FMS countries) to use in the event hostilities should breakout in a given region. The concept of collective security was no longer singularly dependent upon U.S. industry's ability to surge to meet an emergency somewhere in the world; moreover, the logistics footprint and pipeline could be reduced by not having to depend so exclusively on the transport of military equipment from the U.S. to the area of conflict (DoD Directive 2000.9, p. 3). Coalition defense partnership was starting to evolve to a reality.

From Coproduction to Coaliton Partnerships

Under the umbrella of the United Nations, as shown in both the Persian Gulf and the Balkans, unilateral military action by a single state can be replaced by military action sanctioned by the community of nations.

. . .the United Nations remains a central institution for dealing with violence and instability... The U.N. is the only major intergovernmental organization with a broad political mandate in its charter and something close to universal membership (Snow, p. 287)

Moreover, the War Powers Act passed by the U.S. Congress in the closing stages of the Vietnam War was intended to curtail unilateral military actions by an American President and gave Congress the potential to play a more active role in the use of force abroad (Rosati, pp. 330-331). In no small measure, the need to seek coalition partners is an outgrowth of the American experience in Vietnam and what Rosati terms group politics. Group politics is a term denoting the rise and involvement of special interest groups in both national and international politics, such as business and social interest groups, ethnic/nationalistic groups, and religious groups. Each of these groups has had a singular and collective influence on what actions the U.S. government will or will not take in terms of unilateral coalition defense operations (Rosati, pp. 445-480).

Coalition Defense Operations in Kuwait, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo and Yugoslavia

Application of Military Force in Foreign Policy

In certain circles of thought and in times past, the role of the military in foreign policy was thought to be limited to two tasks:

* Guard the security of the U.S.; and

* Fight and win a war at the command of the civilian authorities (Lerche, p. 117).

In reality, military force capability, and as importantly, the threat to employ such capability, has always been an essential component of U.S. foreign policy, beginning with the issuance of the Monroe Doctrine (Brandt, pp. 22-45). It was the application of military force that accomplished U.S. foreign policy goals in the Gulf and the Balkans during the 1990s. Since the inception of the SA program, military operations have not been limited to merely war-fighting. Instead, military operations have embraced other venues such as, anti-terrorism, technical and managerial education and training, peace-keeping and anti-narcotics interdiction. In today's international arena the use, or threat of such use of the military in various venues of foreign policy is key to the successful application of U.S. goals and objectives (Kissinger, p. 61).

The Political Climates

The political climate among the various Gulf states was a major restraint on the degree to which military objectives could be developed and executed. Since the end of the Gulf War much revisionist assessments of the success of this particular coalition operation have been written. It is essential that the objectives of any coalition operation be melded with the political realities of its members. The removal of Saddam's occupying force in Kuwait was the singular objective of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. It was this objective that the coalition was formed to achieve. The removal of Saddam from power in Iraq was never an objective of the coalition. The suggestion that a principal objective of Operation Desert Storm, the removal of Saddam from power, failed has no basis in fact. The Gulf nations within the coalition would not have accepted a military force dominated by the western powers removing an Arab leader from a position of authority within his own country (Sterner, pp. 212-219). The coalition co uld quite possibly have collapsed on this point alone. In fact, most of the region's leaders were advocating an "Arab solution" to the Gulf crisis without western power intervention (Bennett, Lepgold and Unger, 39-75). Coalition planning and execution must always consider and accommodate the political forces at play in the partners' domestic and international politics.

As expressed by Richard Holbrooke in 1998, the major lesson of coalition operations in Bosnia was the inability of the European nations to charter and stay a military course without U.S. commitment to and participation in that mission. Perhaps the European partners had become too dependent on the U.S. to lead military operations during the Cold War. In Bosnia, the U.S. had left the leading up to the European states and found their resolve to accomplish the task to be wanting. Only by committing U.S. troops to assist with the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeeping units already stationed there, and subsume their role as peacekeepers was the U.S. able to ensure that the NATO countries would maintain their commitment to the Bosnian mission and eventually help secure the peace agreements codified in the Dayton Peace Accords (Holbrooke, pp. 72-76).

Kagan noted that in today's multipolarity environment created by the demise of the Soviet the end of the Cold War, there is a huge chasm between calls for full partnership espoused by other nations, and an actual desire to participate on the world stage as a full partner.

What France, Russia and some others really seek today is not genuine multipolarity but a false multipolarity, an honorary multipolarity. They want the pretense of equal partnership in a multipolar world without the price or responsibility that equal partnership requires. They want equal say on the major decisions in global crises without having to possess or wield anything like equal power. They want to increase their own prestige at the expense of American power but without the strain of having to fill the gap left by a diminution of the American role (Kagan, p. 12).

Coalition Defense Operations at Work

Despite the political climates at play among various coalition members, the application of a common language (English) along with common communication systems and links, use of common strategies and tactics, knowledge and use of common weapons and common spares support, along with the development of personal relationships with key decision-makers among coalition partners as a result of the SA Program, coalition defense operations have enjoyed considerable success during the past decade.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to an overhaul of the security assistance program. Desert Storm showed that maybe the way we had been doing business wasn't all that bad.

In our opinion, and this is what we are saying to those who accuse us of business as usual, Desert Storm vindicated the policy we have been following on security assistance for the past quarter century and longer...

Without the close political and military relationship we enjoy with Israel, how would we have convinced the Israeli government not to intervene in response to Saddam's provocations-both verbal and actual? Our security assistance program is a key building block of the U.S. and Israeli relationship.

What would we have done had Turkey not closed its oil pipeline with Iraq immediately after the invasion of Kuwait?

Without that strong signal from a key player in the region, the entire sanctions regime might have broken down Turkey also permitted us extraordinary access to its military facilities to help stabilize the northern front and to operate m the air over northern Iraq...

Would an Egypt still attuned to Soviet tactics and operating Soviet equipment been as eager and as able to play a major role in the coalition? How would we have moved the massive amounts of personnel and equipment to the gulf without access to Egyptian bases?

Greece, traditionally sensitive to non-NATO use of its military facilities, was extremely responsive to our requests or overflight, landing, and use of facilities to support the deployment. Greece, of course, also participated in the naval sanctions enforcement effort with, by the way, ships loaned through our assistance programs (Martel, pp. 7-9).

The Air Force ILCO "Goes to War"

A Peace-Time Program

As noted previously above, the FMS program is essentially a peace-time program and is accomplished in "non-emergency" circumstances Arms Export Control Act (AECA), Sections 1 and 3). The FMS program is legally sanctioned in the AECA of 1976, as amended and based on a contractual agreement termed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA). An LOA is an agreement between the U.S. government and a foreign government to sell U.S. manufactured military articles and services. The MILDEP responsible for a particular type of equipment (e.g., the Air Force, responsible agent for swept-wing aircraft, the Navy, responsible agent for ships, the Army, responsible agent for tanks) is authorized to either provide articles and services if available from DoD stocks, or to enter into a contract with U.S. industry on behalf of a foreign military service to procure the equipment requested in the LOA. It is very much a business arrangement between a buyer and a seller to contract for the purchase of specific articles and services (Br andt, p. 57). The AECA, procurement laws and regulations, and political oversight often make the purchase and delivery of requested materiel a cumbersome and long, drawn-out process (Brandt, pp. 283-291). The export controls established by law limiting the transfer of certain technologies likewise delay and restrict deliver of materiel requested by FMS purchasers in the LOA (Brandt, p. 91).

The "Balloon Goes Up"

On 2 August 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein jolted the world by launching a crushing invasion of tiny neighboring Kuwait... But within days the U.S. response became urgent and purposeful. President George Bush has seized on the far-away conflict as a flagrant challenge to 'the new world order '- the greater harmony between nations that many hoped would follow the end of the Cold War (Rosegrant and Watkins, p. 1).

Operation Desert Shield began in earnest on August 8, 1990 when President Bush announced the deployment of U.S. forces to protect Saudi Arabia. Working in concert with indigenous governments in the Gulf region, the Soviet Union and the United Nations, the U.S. was able to build a coalition defense force intended to preclude further Iraqi expansion and to force Iraqi military forces from Kuwait (Rosegrant and Watkins, pp. 13-19). At the end of Operations Desert Shield (the deterrent phase of the crisis over Kuwait) and Desert Storm (the active combat phase) 36 different countries had participated in the coalition defense operation (Rosegrant and Watkins, p. 54). From this genesis evolved the modem concept of coalition defense operations to meet military threats within specific regions, from the Persian Gulf to Kosovo, and from Bosnia to Yugoslavia to Somalia.

First Steps

From the very beginning of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm political sensitivities were of paramount concern for operational planners. "Prevailing regional politics led the Gulf states to seek an 'Arab-only' solution to the July crisis... To this was added the fear of military escalation should the Gulf states turn to outside powers..." (RAND, p. 19). Additional concerns of antagonizing Saddam and giving credence to his assertions that the Gulf states were in collusion with the Western Powers limited what could be accomplished on a cooperative basis. "Consequently, the political concerns of the regional leadership again were key factors in determining the range of available U.S. options and the extent to which U.S. forces could 'lean forward', even if greater U.S. expectations of an invasion existed" (RAND, pp. 19-20). So tenuous were these initial steps that even specific beddown lists for coalition defense aircraft had to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis throughout the Arabian Peninsula (RAND, p. 21).

Host-nation political impediments also had made it difficult to preposition munitions in-theater. Despite the conduct of joint exercises and other types of cooperation with many of the Gulf states, most had not allowed U.S. forces to accomplish site surveys. As a result, U.S. planners had little advanced information on what was available at deployment locations in the region. Despite such constraints, however, as the RAND study indicated, the security assistance program in the Gulf was viewed as a major success.

The long-term U.S. security assistance programs leading to the development of the extensive basing infrastructure into which U.S. forces deployed must be viewed as a major success. In Saudi Arabia, many facilities are modem and are built with substantial overcapacity, which was readily exploited by arriving U.S. air forces...

A critical but intangible benefit for Operation Desert Shield was the network of contacts and personal relations established by in-country security assistance officers (SAOs) over the years. When the crisis occurred, these officers were well-placed to assist in expediting the U.S. deployments, a particularly important service given the lack of peacetime agreements with the host countries on crisis procedures (RAND, pp. 22-23).

The assistance of Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze brought about by the "thawing" in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as the warm personal relationship that had evolved between the foreign minister and the U.S. Secretary of State during the previous two years, did much to lay the foundation for coalition defense operations in the Gulf. The United Nations did not descend into factional posturing between East and West that had so characterized the deliberations and inaction of that body in previous years. So critical to the successful implementation of Desert Shield strategy was Soviet support that Secretary of State James Baker referred to this moment in his memoirs as "the day the Cold War ended" (Baker, pp. 1-16).

As the crisis continued and negotiations for a coalition response escalated, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador, Prince Bandar Ibn Sultan was invited to the White House to view classified intelligence photographs showing Iraqi troops massing at the Kingdom's border. This visit was followed up with a trip to the Kingdom by Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. Secretary Cheney assumed King Fahd would be reluctant to accept U.S. forces on Saudi soil without some guarantee that troops would leave as soon as they were no longer needed. Much to his surprise King Fahd's main concern was that the U.S. would not respond with sufficient strength necessary to thwart Saddam's military might. Once Secretary Cheney showed the King the same intelligence photographs previously shown the Saudi Arabian Ambassador and gave proof of President Bush's resolve to send 200,000 troops to the Kingdom, King Fahd accepted the offer of U.S. support. Forty hours later, U.S. F-15 aircraft were on the ground in Saudi Arabia (Rosegrant and Watkins , pp. 10-11). This initial agreement, soon to become a full coalition defense operation and later known to the world as Desert Shield and Desert Storm, was thus born. It is important to realize that military operations executed under Desert Storm could not have taken place had not the political groundwork been laid through diplomatic, personal and professional relationships years before.

Eliminating and Working Around Obstacles

The concept of mutual support among coalition partners had to be modified from a peace-time program to that of a crisis operation during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Peace-time policy requires that a purchaser of U.S. manufactured materiel obtain prior U.S. government permission before exporting such materiel from the U.S., or from transferring U.S. manufactured military equipment purchased under the FMS program from one coalition partner to another. This makes sense in peace-time, as it allows the U.S. government to track and maintain visibility over defense equipment purchased under the FMS program. In the middle of a war, however, this is the kind of bureaucratic obstacle which cannot be tolerated since hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment must be transferred to many different countries in an extremely short period of time. (Rutledge, p. 61).

At the urging of the U.S. central command authorities, both the DoD and DoD developed what amounted to "diplomatic notes" to all coalition members. These agreements required each coalition partner to guarantee that it would maintain records of what has been transferred to them and then to others if required. Further, coalition partners guaranteed that they would not transfer selected articles (e.g., Stinger Missiles) to others (Rutledge, p. 61).

Since the FMS program is a business arrangement between the U.S. government and a friendly or allied government, the purchase of military equipment must be accounted for through the DoD delivery reporting data systems. Equipment sent to a purchaser must be billed and paid for. This condition requires numerous edits in the data systems used to manage the FMS program to ensure:

* A country is authorized to receive a particular type of equipment;

* Obligation Authority (OA) to pay the FMS-incurred billing is available prior to releasing a defense article to a customer; and,

* Specific types of defense requirements are processed against pre-designated LOAs (Security Assistance Handbook, pp. 3.1-1 through 3.2-10).

The numerous systems' edits slow down the requisitioning and supply processes, and thus inhibit the effort to move equipment in-theater in an expedited manner, although the tracking of "what equipment was sent where" is not affected. At the Air Force Security Assistance Center (AFSAC), the first order of business was to remove selected edits in the data system supporting FMS requirements. Defense equipment and spares were allowed to flow through the logistics data systems and pipeline in an expeditious manner. As a result, most all non-service oriented LOAs became available for ordering various types of defense equipment without distinction as to the type of LOA normally required for specific defense equipment (Morton, p. 1). This allowed all available obligation authorities on coalition partners' FMS LOAs to immediately become available for "flooding the logistics pipeline" to the area of conflict.

Establishment of a 24-Hour Command Post

At the After Action Review Conference at McDill Air Force Base, Florida in June, 1991, participants praised the establishment of a 24-hour command post and the resulting open and constant communications created and managed by the AFSAC almost from the first day of the Gulf crisis. The communication flow was between the supply and repair sources in the U.S. and the depots and operational bases in Saudi Arabia (Oehme Memo, July 17, 1991). Using telephone, message traffic, memorandums and supply status list sent through faxes (e-mail was not available in 1990 and 1991) inbound and outbound communications were available on a 24-hour basis. At any time during the day or night operational units from the area of conflict were able to talk with the Air Force ILCO to secure immediate status reports regarding critical items and overall resupply actions. Knowing this information allowed the operational units engaged in combat to seek alternative support strategies (such as lateral logistics support from other coalition partners stationed in-theater) when required, rather than being in the dark as to where resupply and equipment replacement articles were in the pipeline and when they might expect this materiel to arrive in-theater. This constant communication between the sources of materiel, resupply and repair in the U.S. with coalition partners in the Gulf served as an important informational source for planners in Kingdom (Oehme Memo, July 17 1991).

Establishing a Priority Project Code and Upgrading Force Activity Designators

During the transfer of excess F-4 aircraft and logistics support to the southern flank of NATO under the Southern Region Amendment in 1988, the AFSAC created a unique specialized project code entitled Pacer Gander. Materiel transferred with the Pacer Gander Project Code assigned was shipped with no restrictions and controlling edit checks from DoD supply sources to authorized FMS recipients. During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Project Pacer Gander was reactivated. By shipping materiel destined to the Gulf under the Pacer Gander Project, military articles were moved from supply sources at an accelerated rate. In concert with the theater commanders in chief's request, the Air Force lobbied for upgrades to the coalition partners force activity designators (FADs). An upgraded FAD provided selected coalition partners the same priority level for supply support as U.S. Air Force units engaged in combat operations in the region. This action gave both U.S. Forces and coalition partners in the Gulf priority over oth er U.S. units and FMS customers in other regions of the world. Priority support, transferred under the banner of Pacer Gander was key to the ability of the Air Force ILCO to flood the logistics pipeline to the area of conflict (Air Force Instruction 23-110, Volume IX, Chapter 14, p. 14-107).

Procurement Strategy

Many of the weapon systems or their specific configurations used by FMS countries are not standard to the U.S. Air Force and DoD. Consequently, the normal procurement process used by DoD does not adequately support the purchasing requirements of many FMS requisitions. The AFSAC created a specialized purchasing program in late 1989-1990 termed the nonstandard item parts and repair system (NIPARS) (NIPARS Statement of Work, Section C, April 2, 1990). The NIPARS program has evolved through three iterations since 1988 and is now termed the Parts Repair Ordering System (PROS). NIPARS/PROS is an indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery (ID/IQ) contract with a prime vendor. The prime vendor is paid and incentivized to secure supply and repair sources worldwide in an expedited manner for nonstandard items and hard to find, long-lead, high demand, short supply standard items. The current Defense Logistics Agency virtual prime vendor initiative evolved from the NIPARS/PROS concept (SAIC PROS Brochure)

The U.S. government competitively contracts with a prime vendor for an ID/IQ contract. The prime contractor is responsible for securing secondary vendor sources from wherever possible. The U.S. government's cumbersome procurement process with its many checks and balances, thus, no longer delays critical item purchases since the prime is the contracting authority rather than the U.S. government (SAIC PROS Brochure). Moreover, the AFSAC relaxed some of the detailed requirements for price and availability (P&A) from standard DoD supply sources in order to expedite the procurement process, opting instead to use data from previous P&A submissions for similar type equipment. Purchase requests were, in turn, walked through the procurement process rather than passing such requests through the mail and distribution system. "A close rapport was established with the Wright-Patterson Contracting Center to cut through red tape" (Oehme, Memo March 18 1991).

Changes to LOA Development and Coordination Requirements

Normally, FMS equipment end items are purchased on a defined order LOA. A defined order LOA specifies the exact number of items and exactly what type of equipment end item (e.g., F-15 aircraft) are to be purchased. This approach results in legislative reporting requirements which allow for clear visibility, extensive coordination and national debate prior to the shipment of requested end items to FMS customers (AECA, Section 63). During the contingencies of Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Yugoslavia, blanket order LOAs were used extensively, where possible. Blanket order LOAs are much like basic ordering agreements. The FMS countries identify the type of equipment required (e.g., "support equipment"), along with OA necessary to purchase the equipment rather than defining the specific equipment (e.g., "automatic test set for repair diagnostics for F-16 avionics") required. A dollar value is established by the purchaser without identified quantities (Air Force Instruction 16-101, Paragraph 4.16.2).

Normally, FMS countries sign the LOA in-country after all coordination on the U.S. government side has been accomplished. Typically this adds up to sixty days to the overall coordination process prior to materiel being order against that LOA, Security Assistance Management Manual, p. 701-704. During contingencies in Desert Shield and Desert Storm coalition partners in the Gulf were asked to give their embassies in Washington, D.C. authority to sign LOAs, thereby reducing the processing time by up to 60 days since, among other factors, international mailing times were eliminated. Finally, AFSAC secured approval to implement the LOA into the logistics data systems at time of signature, rather than having to wait until actual OA was loaded into the data system (Morton, p. 2).

Managing Resupply Requirements and Critical Item Support

Once the Joint Chiefs of Staff had upgraded FMS countries FADs equal to those of U.S. Air Force units in-theater with similar missions, requisitions from those countries were upgraded automatically within the DoD data systems. As a consequence, requirements from coalition partners in the Gulf passed through the logistics data system controls with little hindrance and delay. Using Pacer Gander project code and another project code issued by the Pentagon, "9BU", coalition partners in the Gulf were placed at the top of the priority list ahead of all other FMS countries (Morton, p. 2).

Supply sources at U.S. government depots were ordered to process coalition partners' requirements on a fill or kill basis. If the requirement was not on the shelf ready to be shipped out immediately, the requisition was to be terminated from the DoD supply list and procured through other means such as the NIPARS program. Additional supply and repair sources were contacted and assessed for capability should "... a slow-down be encountered with primary repair activities. With appropriate waivers, use of all know repair suppliers should ensure a rapid turnaround of reparable assets" (Morton, p. 2).

Lessons Learned

The experience of the AFSAC in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Yugoslavia suggests that above all else DoD planners must remember that coalition defense operations are as much political as they are military. The internal and external politics of coalition members-their individual objectives and constraints-are major determinates in the degree of success one may legitimately expect from military actions. The military objective of the group must meld with the political objectives of the individual coalition members. Failure to remember this fact may lead the coalition into chaos.

The Air Force ILCO's experience in the Gulf also suggests that DoD needs to develop a parallel business process for crisis management to build on the existing peace-time FMS process. A crisis management process based on the lessons learned in this and any other studies/experiences, written down and ready to be superimposed on the existing FMS process when the balloon goes up, would eliminate the uncertainty of actions required to bring the FMS customers into full coalition defense operations. Further, a written contingency plan and procedure would eliminate the delays experienced in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in which the normal FMS business process had to be modified in order to support wartime operational tempo, including flooding the logistics pipeline to the area of conflict, and transferring U.S. manufactured equipment to those coalition partners with the greatest need without the bureaucratic obstacles and controls required by the day-to-day peace-time FMS process.

The DoD ILCOs must be prepared to surge to the required levels of war-time operational tempo if full participation of FMS countries in coalition defense operations is to be achieved. Such participation must be in concert with the National Security Policy of the United States, as developed and managed by the National Command Authority, and implemented by the CINCs. A documented crisis management process for ensuring full participation of FMS countries should initially focus on capturing the lock-step procedures found in this paper since these are the procedures the AFSAC followed to provide support to FMS partners in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Yugoslavia. The history of AFSAC support during time of war as captured in these case studies indicates that an ILCO can successfully surge to meet the operational tempo required for full participation of FMS countries in coalition defense operations. In addition to eliminating day-to-day policy obstacles which preclude the DoD logistics support system from surgi ng to war-time requirement levels, lock-step procedures include:

* Establishing a 24-hour command post to ensure constant communications with supply points in-theater;

* Creating a priority project code for the purchase and transportation of logistics support requirements for FMS customers destined for the area of conflict;

* Reinventing the U.S. government procurement process to reduce the administrative time required for contracting;

* Changing the LOA development and coordination processes for the duration of the crisis in order to reduce the administrative times required before contracting, requisitioning, and transportation actions can occur; and

* Using the interactive query capabilities available from the FMS management information systems to actively manage and forecast resupply and critical item support.

The basic principles and processes of the SA program also need to be included in any lessons learned documentation. Infrastructure development, international military education and training, the role of security assistance officers in building personal as well as professional international relationships, and the interoperability edge enjoyed by the military forces of coalition defense partners as administered by the DoD's ILCOs have contributed significantly to the successes of the past.

It was no surprise that in Kosovo, and to a similar but less exclusive extent in the Gulf War, American aircraft and munitions played a dominant role. Efforts to achieve interoperability in order to fight effectively in a coalition are not new. The need was recognized at least as early as WWII. However, the events of this decade have taught us that effective coalition warfare is not a luxury, but a necessity, as our National Security strategy now indicates. By laying the foundation that allows allies to operate effectively together, security assistance serves as an indispensable U.S. military force multiplier (Rake and Marolt, p. 3).

Critical to this mind set [i.e., an expeditionary mind set] is not only training and equipment but an understanding that we will deploy and operate with other allied forces-most likely out of their bases-which will require the airmen of the 21st century to be not only technically competent but also internationally oriented.

Some examples of recent operations that involved multinational forces include: humanitarian relief after Hurricane Mitch in Central America; Operation Northern Watch in Turkey with coalition partners United Kingdom and Turkey; Operation Southern Watch including units from United Kingdom, France and Saudi Arabia; and of course, the Balkans, Operation Allied Force (Ramos, p. 7).

The lessons learned from operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm were revalidated when the author returned to the FMS arena in the spring of 1999, following a three year assignment in Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command. Operation Allied Force was in the beginning stages of the intensive air war against Yugoslavia. Much to his chagrin, he soon realized the experience gained from the Gulf War had been lost to the AFSAC organization due to the loss of intellectual capital among managers and technicians as a result of downsizing and retirements. By drawing on the experience of the AFSAC during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and reissuing lessons learned documented at that time, the FMS countries were better able to meet their responsibilities in a coalition defense operation (Caudill, p. 1).


The purpose of this study is not only to meet the requirements for DLAMP but to also serve as a case study and a how to guide for DoD ILCOs to use in supporting coalition defense partners through the FMS program. The FMS program, sanctioned in the AECA of 1976, as amended, is essentially a peace-time program; however, over the past decade it has become a critical component for logistics planning and support of foreign military forces engaged in coalition defense operations with U.S. Forces.

Through in-country and in-theatre common military equipment stocks purchased and delivered through the FMS program, both U.S. and coalition defense partners have a logistics supply source available to ensure U.S. manufactured military equipment is available to accomplish the mission set by the participating governments. Planning and implementing the supply posture necessary to meet the operational tempo during coalition defense operations requires major changes to the way the FMS program is conducted in a peace-time environment. Key to these changes are:

* Setting aside normal day-to-day constraints on the process;

* Establishing a 24-hour command post;

* Creating a priority project code;

* Reinventing the normal procurement process;

* Managing closely resupply and critical item support; and

* Ensuring constant communications with in-country, in-theatre supply points.

The AFSAC experience in supporting coalition defense operations serves as a lessons learned for ensuring the FMS program is used to its greatest potential, i.e., planning, infrastructure development in peace-time, weapons system acquisition and logistics support during military operations. Drawing on that experience as documented in this case study and further refined in the future as needed, the MILDEPs can, with a high degree of confidence, reasonably expect similar levels of success in coalition defense operations previously realized.


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About the Author

Tom Caudill is the Director, Case Operations, Air Force Security Assistance Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is responsible for supply/requisitioning support, case management, the worldwide redistribution services and the parts repair ordering system contracts, representing a business base in excess of sixty-four billion dollars. Caudill has over twenty years experience in foreign military sales and international programs. He has been a frequent contribution to the DISAM Journal over the years. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs, a Master of Science in management, and is completing his doctorate in operations management. Caudill is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College and is a member of the Defense Leadership and Management Program.
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Author:Caudill, Tom H.
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Date:Dec 22, 2001
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