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Deborah Lee James: Air Force Seeks to Expedite FMS Process Via Training Program for Security Cooperation Officers

Deborah Lee James
Deborah Lee James

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has said the service branch plans to implement several measures that seek to speed up the foreign military sales process, the USAF said Thursday.

James told event attendees at the State Department’s Foreign Press Center in New York Wednesday that the military branch will work to develop a training program for security cooperation professionals involved in FMS prior to overseas deployment.

The service branch will also ask the Air Force Life Cycle Management, Defense Acquisition University and the Institute of Security Cooperation Studies to create a curriculum that focuses on FMS.

“We’re going to better prepare these officers for FMS planning responsibilities during their overseas tour, which includes better training on the time-consuming but critical process of helping the foreign partner define their defense requirements,” said James, an inductee into Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 for 2016.

She also cited that the military branch plans to classify “complex” FMS cases that usually involve weapons systems as Category C.

“We’ve challenged our acquisitions team to achieve a 10 percent timeline reduction on these cases by the end of 2017,” James said.

“We’re going to try to cut a month from the time the Air Force initially receives a partner’s request for a complex system to the time we can provide them a valid letter of offer and acceptance to purchase it.”

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