By Elizabeth Szoke
DCMA Public Affairs
Foreign military sales, also known as FMS, is a long-standing, security-assistance program involving arms and service sales to international partners and organizations. According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, FMS is an advantageous program to nurturing long-term relationships with foreign militaries and to increase interoperability between international and U.S. forces.
Equipment and services requested by foreign purchases are at no cost to the taxpayer. The foreign purchases include administration and quality oversight provided by Defense Contract Management Agency employees.
“We conducted workshops to focus on partnering with our agency teammates to assist with planning, budgeting and executing their FMS work,” said Anglea James, team lead of a black belt integrated process team, or IPT. “Each hour spent supporting our foreign allies matters, so we need to ensure our FMS processes are consistent despite our physical locations.”
The IPT recently completed the FMS workshops, which included traveling around the country to ensure all of the agency's contract management offices were receiving equal opportunities to learn and understand the process. Regional and office commanders, directors, deputies and subject matter experts attended the multiple workshops. The training provided awareness on the agency's increased FMS workload.
“These workshops were important in distinguishing between U.S. government and FMS labor budget in order to improve our overall programming, planning, budgeting and execution,” said Cory Rosenberger, DCMA chief of staff. “Fully understanding everything that goes into this would lead to appropriately funding and executing U.S. government and FMS labor.”
Rosenberger was one of several black belt IPT members who served as a facilitator during the workshops. Retired Air Force Col. Louis Orndorff, former commander of DCMA Middle East, was another member of the team.
“We were able to address the FMS ties to the National Defense Strategy and our agency mission,” said Rosenberger. “We also discussed our current and projected workload analysis with the FMS budget process in mind.”
The IPT was championed by Pamela Conklin, the executive director of Financial and Business Operations.
"We began working the concept of this process last fall," Conklin said. "As we conducted the workshops, every office and operational center shared their understanding about the FMS program, its importance to our strategic alliances and how to defend a budget that supports their workload requirements.”
The IPT encouraged improved ownership of resource management from the across the agency.
“We sensed that office-level leadership left the workshops with an improved understanding of the FMS workload and an overall appreciation for our process,” said Rosenberger.
As the CMOs gather more data in the coming months, the agency will be able to confirm reimbursable execution controls and develop reimbursable FMS execution plans. This will shape the DSCA’s comptroller briefs on the FMS administrative ceiling as well as contribute to DCMA’s fiscal year 21-25 program objective memorandum.
“We’ve always done FMS work, but now we are deliberately leveraging and expanding our FMS expertise to improve how we apply mission and reimbursable funding across the agency," said Air Force Col. David Learned, Western Regional Commander. “It’s a wonderful example of improving stewardship of our taxpayer dollars.”
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